The Mystery of the Gilded Eagle; available now in paperback and Kindle



Multicolor party lights, strung across the ceiling of the newly opened cocktail lounge, sparkled like stars in the sky.  The open bar in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror sported half empty bottles.  A few metal chairs, most empty, lined the perimeter of the room.   The hustle and bustle of the mingling people floated through the air.  Their soft conversations proceeded without interruption. Mixed drinks were sipped.  Others were gulped like water.  Everyone wore casual dress, mostly dark colors…except for one: Jackie Kant.  She wore a canary-yellow blouse above tight fitting, sequined, bright blue pants with matching high-healed shoes.  A broach sat above her sumptuous left breast, a gold tree branch with a 5 carat emerald flower, given to her by one of her lovers.  She sported curly, ash brown hair, cut short, and pulled to the left above pink, plastic glasses.  She held a glass of Champagne, filled to the rim.  She elevated it, spilling a small amount, and screamed, “Happy New Year, One and All.”

The crowd erupted into similar cheers.

Jackie sipped her drink, and then smiled at the reaction to her announcement.  Her gaze landed upon a man with a bold, angled chin and high facial arches, accenting Hunter green eyes.  His totally baldhead glistened, adding to his charm.  He approached her with a small, perfect smile with stark white teeth aglow from the bright, fluorescent-ceiling lights.  His perfectly tailored light brown suit with matching tie hardly rustled with each movement.  He held up his half-consumed glass of champagne.

“I thought no one would ever break this party open.  Too much murmuring and complaining about everything: the past year, terrorism, politics, life in general.  I’m not sure any of them realize this is supposed to be a celebration of a new beginning.” He shook his head.  “They should at least appreciate either the reason for it, or their fellow guests, especially beautiful ones…like you.”

Jackie’s eyebrows rose.  “Why didn’t you do the honors then, and save me the effort?”

His smile grew, revealing a deep chin dimple.  “I’m conservative, very reserved.  I’m not the blurt-it-out type, not until someone as beautiful as you does it first.”

Her gaze dropped to the floor.  Her cheeks rose in a hint of a smile.  Shallow lines suddenly appeared around her mouth.  “Interesting pick up line….‘all the world is bad,’ as seen by these partygoersanyway…and I use that phrase reservedly…‘and I’m beautiful,’ twice, no less, except, I have ‘a big, loud mouth.’  A backhanded compliment at best, I guess.”

“I didn’t say you had a big mouth, just that you were…eh, are…more bold than old, conservative me, that’s all.  Don’t put words into this conservative doctor’s mouth.”

Her gaze bounded back to his.  “Is that supposed to impress me?”

“About being a doctor?  No, but it’s a way to find out what you do…I mean besides trying to ignite a fire under this boring crowd.  Now, you know what I do.  How about you?”

She looked Heavenward.  “You can really throw the bull, that’s for sure!  I’m a sensitivity instructor…and a mystery solver.”

His eyes sprung open, and then narrowed.  “A detective?  Police, or private?”

Her smile grew larger.  “Neither.  It’s a relative new profession for me.  Guess you’d say an accidental detective.”

“Accidental?  How does one become an accidental detective?”

She shrugged.  “Accidentally, I guess…by definition.”  She waved her hands in front of her face dismissively. “It’s a long story.”

“How long?  I’m a good listener, and I have plenty of time.”

She gave another shrug.  “It’s not very long, at least the abridged version, but it’s extremely complicated.  It’s a story that is best held for another time.”

He pointed to her left hand.  “You’re not wearing a wedding ring.  Any permanent boyfriend I should be afraid of?”

“There’s no permanent anyone right now, but you should be afraid of them all.  They’re allthe jealous type.”

He sipped his champagne.  “Is that what you prefer, men who fall for you at first sight, and then get enraged whenever another man talks to you?”

She took a large gulp of her drink.  “Neither!  If they fall in front of me, I step on them, and if they get too jealous, I knock their teeth out.  Either way, I avoid them.  So, which are you?  Are you about to fall all goo-goo eyes backwards in front of me, or are you going to defend my honor from the next man who approaches?”

“Ha!  Neither!  You sound like you don’t need me, or any other man to defend you against anyone…”

“You better believe that!”  She raised her glass.  “…and I’m obviously attracted to you, but I’m not the fall over backwards type of girl either.”

“Oh, you’re attracted to me.  I guess I’m doing something right.  It must be my conservative nature you’re attracted to.”

“Well, you’re not so conservative that you’re afraid to approach a strange woman at a party, and strike up a conversation with her, though.  Right?”

“Well…to be honest, I’m only conservative in politics and the treatment of my patients…when that’s appropriate.   Otherwise, I’m just a normal human being in need of some beautiful company for the evening.”

“Down, Boy!  I don’t go off with total strangers, and I certainly don’t sleep around, if you’re asking me to go to bed with you tonight.”

He shook his head.  “No, no!  Don’t get me wrong, and stop misinterpreting everything I say.  I said tonight, during this party, that’s all.  Nothing about what comes later, if anything. Companionship, that’s all.”

“I hope so, because that’s all you’re going to get…for now.”  She stared at him, locking her gaze to his.

“Well, now that we’ve settled that, how about I get us another glass of champagne?”

“Now, that I could go for.”

Chip headed toward the bar.  He turned back after a few feet.  He assumed a large smile, and then said, “By the way, my name’s Chip Stevenson.  What’s yours?”

“Jackie Kant.  Grab some hors d’oeuvres too.  I’m starved.”

“Try not to step on any men, or knock any teeth out before I return.”

“No promises.”  She smiled as she raised her now empty glass.  Her gaze became glued to Chip’s retreating back.  She then mumbled,“Welcome to my world and life, Chip Stevenson.” One corner of her mouth curled into a crooked smile. “Hmmm…I wonder…I hope…we’ll see.” END


Jackie Kant meets a physician, Chip, at a New Years Eve Party, and invites him to the opening of her friend’s Bed and Breakfast. Upon arrival there, they discover that the solid gold statue of a flying eagle, which served as the emblem of the Gilded Eagle restaurant for years, has been stolen. The statue weighed over 200 pounds, and only the relatives and staff at the restaurant knew it was really gold, not the gold-painted one that hung above the restaurant’s door for years. The owners, George and Eleanor had sunk their entire fortune into the gold to make the eagle years before. Jackie agrees to help solve the crime, and begins to questions all there. George is poisoned, and rushed to the hospital. They discover he had eaten poison mushrooms, has his stomach pumped, and recovers.Can Jackie and Chip find the culprit of the theft and the poisoning? Is it the same person, or are there two criminals at the bed and breakfast that weekend. Could George’s relatives really want to poison him, and steal his life savings? Can Jackie and Chip find the Gilded Eagle before it is melted down for its gold value?

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