It was just over a year ago that THE VENETIAN PEARLS were published. About time to celebrate that birthday. Over the next few weeks, you'll be able to read the serialised prologue here. I hope you'll enjoy it.
"Here we are, Sir. Penzance Police Station." The taxi driver turned around to his passenger.
Howard G. Stevenson looked up from the newspaper headline he'd been reading. ROBBERY SHAKES PENZANCE. DISAPPEARANCE OF FAMOUS PEARLS BAFFLES POLICE. He folded the paper neatly and put it in his briefcase. Then he paid the driver and got out.
The tailor-made, grey suit stressed his lean, tall appearance. The bald patch at the back of his head was almost as polished as his shoes, and his silver-grey moustache was trimmed to perfection. He was in his sixties, and could play the perfect gentleman or the dodderer if a job asked for it.
Today, he was his brisk self. Briefcase in his right hand, the light summer coat folded over his left arm, anybody would have taken him for an ordinary business man. And yet there was more. Stevenson was used to people following his every order and it showed in his posture.
Stevenson entered the stark, red brick building. There was only one constable manning the narrow reception desk that looked like a bar squeezed into a corner to the left of the entrance. He was a stocky man with a ruddy face, busy taking notes while talking on the phone. The conversation on his side consisted mainly of 'ums' and 'ers'.
Stevenson didn't wait for the constable to finish the call. "I have an appointment with Chief Inspector Trelawney." His voice was loud and brisk, that of a military officer.
(To be continued)