Yesterday I went to a book launching at the Mysterious Bookshop. Nancy A. Hughes, a fellow Mystery Writers of America writer was introducing her fourth book, Vanished. Because of the torrential rain, there was a small crowd. Nancy was her usual charming, upbeat self. She read from a section of Vanished, Book Three in the Trust series. Kingsley, the mother of the kidnapped baby, has had a tumultuous life in the previous Trust mysteries. In this one I hope
she escapes with her life. The cover leads you into the story. Nancy said that each of her covers includes a clue.
Brief recap: Martin Randall Tours sponsored Palestine, Past & Present, October 15-23. Our leader was Curator Felicity Cobbing who’s excavated throughout the Middle East and who has written extensively about the history and archaeology of the Levant. As I’ve mentioned, we stayed in Bethlehem, Jericho and Jerusalem, exploring the three cities and their environs.
We were in Jericho for two days. On arrival we took the cable car to a 13th-century Greek-Orthodox monastery. Afterwards we had lunch at a Bedouin camp. We sat on soft cushions in a large tent while the men in the camp laid the table and brought in food. We had glimpses of very small children and several pregnant women but were not introduced to them.The lunch was tasty and ample. There were different kinds of chicken, falafel, hummus, pickled vegetables and pomegranates. Nearby was the Bedouins herd of goats. These Bedouin have been informed by the Israeli government that their camp will be shut down.
The next morning, dressed chastely, we went to Qumran caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered, then on to a Muslim site of pilgrimage, Nebi Musa. The coach took us to a baptismal site on the Jordan River. I’ve attended Baptist baptisms in Ivoryton, Ct. They were remarkably similar.
We then went to Nablus, the small community of the Samaritans. The ancient Samaritan synagogue is still in use. A young woman and a young man explained their religion and its ties to Judaism. They also explained that there were about 800 Samaritans, fewer women than men. Ukraine women are brought into their community like war brides to marry the young men. The young man took us to the Teper Nacle, a ceiling design of
We went to Jerusalem and stayed at the American Colony Hotel for two nights. It’s a charming hotel at 1 Louis Vincent Street, built over 100 years ago by a group of Swedes and Americans.
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old, the only witness to the stabbing and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School? Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?