Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Dread Murder

Dread Murder

Gwendoline Butler

Minotaur Books

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In the court of King George IV, Major Mearns---an old dog of war and veteran of Willington's army---is the guardian of Windsor Castle. Some would call him a spy; he calls himself a "watcher." Working with his close friend, the resourceful Sergeant Denny, the pair maintain a cool facade behind which they go about their duties quietly and unnoticed.

Unnoticed, that is, until the day Mearns receives a parcel containing a gruesome surprise: a pair of severed human legs. The legs belong to a fellow soldier. Casting aside official protocol, Mearns and Denny decide to investigate the murder themselves, also enrolling the help of a precocious young runaway, Charlie. But soon these maverick investigators find themselves up against all manner of obstacles and danger, not the least of which is the Crown Keepers of the Peace---a unit of former soldiers headed by Mearns's nemesis, Felix Ferguson.

With more butchered body parts turning up in parcels and the number of deaths rising, our amateur investigators find themselves up to their necks in corruption and intrigue. Mearns struggles to keep Ferguson at bay, not only during the investigation, but also for the affections of the desirable Mindy, a maidservant in the castle. With the pressure on, can Mearns get to the bottom of the murders and win the heart of his ladylove?

With Dread Murder, Gwendoline Butler delivers a cleverly cunning and old-fashioned mystery that hides a gruesome murder behind its charming facade.

EXCERPT

DREAD MURDER

Chapter One
The town of Windsor was wrapped in mist; it came up from the river to cover the town and the Castle on the hill.
In his set of rooms deep in the heart of the Castle, Major Mearns sat over...

Reviews

Praise for Dread Murder

"Her inventiveness never seems to flag; and the singular atmosphere of her books, compounded of jauntiness and menace, remains undiminished." - Times Literary Supplement

"Gwendoline Butler is excellent on the bizarre fantasies of other people's lives and on modern paranoia overlaying old secrets; and her plots have the ability to shock." - the Independent

"Butler is a gifted storyteller who knows just how to evoke murky period ambience, and her characters are as original as they are charismatic." - Booklist

About the author

Gwendoline Butler

Gwendoline Butler writes under her own name and the pseudonym Jennie Melville. Educated at Haberdashers, she read history at Oxford, and later married Dr. Lionel Butler, Principal of Royal Holloway College. She has one daughter. She is a winner of the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger Award. She was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The London Times. She lives in Surrey, England.

Gwendoline Butler

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