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Mary E Martin

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Member Since: May, 2006

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The Osgoode Trilogy
9/18/2006 4:53:47 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Conduct in Question, Final Paradox and a Trial of One.
Check out my postings over the next few weeks. I plan to put in excerpts from the three novels in the Osgoode Trilogy. The first in the trilogy, Conduct in Question, was published last fall. This fall, Final Paradox will be available and in the fall of 2007, the third in the trilogy, A Trial of One, will be available.

In the meantime, I'd like to tell you [by pulbising excerpts from all three novels]about the three characters who appear in all the novels, Harry Jenkins, the protagonist lawyer, Miss Giveny, his spinsterish secretary and right hand helper and the beautiful Natasha who is the best thing that ever happened to Harry. You'll soon see how they develop.

To start it off, here's a scene in Conduct in Question. Harry has lots of problems. Mainly, he's stuck in a rut.


Trapped next to the open casket, Harry Jenkins glanced at the deceased woman, an elderly client whose face was rouged into a grotesque parody of life. Poor Miss Richardson. Only at her death did her relatives come out of the woodwork. He brushed back his thinning hair and swallowed hard. His senior law partner, Richard Crawford, stood close by. His fine features and elegant attire made Harry feel clumsy and overblown.

Crawford always found just the right inflection for his softly spoken words of condolence. Even after countless funerals, Harry’s own phrases seemed stilted and woefully inadequate. Crawford moved gracefully amongst the damp-eyed mourners, greeting each one with a grave but gracious air. Taking the hand of one, giving a dry kiss to another, Crawford worked the room for new clients. Harry’s teacup rattled in his hand as he sought a place to set it down.

Natasha Boretsky, a realtor for Crawford, gently touched Harry’s arm and drew him closer. “Harry, good to see you. I called you the other day.”

Her hair was dark and lustrous. He caught a hint of her perfume. Smiling, he awkwardly took her hand and managed to say, “Really? I’m sorry I missed your call.”
Her dark brown eyes widened with pleasure. His cup threatened to tip, but still he held her hand for just a moment longer, until they were parted in the crush of the crowd.

His back turned, Crawford stood in front of him. Trapped, Harry gazed over the sea of mourners and out the window. Caught in the afternoon light, dust motes hung motionless in the funeral-parlor air. A promising spring day lay beyond the curtain. Outside, a man and a woman were kissing. She laughed and broke away. A gentle breeze lifted her broad-brimmed hat and sent it soaring upward to the sky. Enchanted, Harry watched the man rush to catch the hat and place it on her head. Arm in arm, they disappeared down the block.

Suddenly, he had to escape. He touched Crawford on the arm in order to pass by, and the old man jerked backward. Harry’s cup was knocked to the floor. The clatter silenced the mourners only for a moment. Harry swept the shards of china to one side and strode from the room. Crawford shook his head and smoothly returned to his conversation.
Harry heaved open the heavy brass doors of the funeral parlor to find a congregation of smokers huddled under the canopy. As he shouldered by, conversation rippled about him.

“The police are calling the killer ‘The Florist.’”
“Because of his handiwork?”
“Yes. Apparently, he carves naked flesh in absolutely beautiful designs.”
“Must be a real fruitcake on the loose.”

Harry hurried past. He could not conceive of a being who could ravage and create in one instant.

In his car, he stared blankly at a beer advertisement on a billboard. Funerals always made him restless with questions. At forty-two, the great divide of half a century loomed in his path like a foreboding angel. Time had been steadily measured out to him in hours and days, to the point of tedium. Yet, twenty years had passed in just a moment. What did that mean for the future? Despite his years of faithful tutelage under Crawford, Harry was still trapped under the old man’s thumb. All his offers to purchase the practice had been adamantly refused.

Backing up, he slammed on the brakes. Good God! He had almost smashed the side panel of a Jaguar parked way over the line. Carefully, he exited the lot and headed for home. He and his wife, Laura, could have a relaxed dinner together. Lately a silence had grown between them, and the house had acquired a hollow sound. It wasn’t too late to mend the rift, he hoped.

When he opened the front door, he saw the note, which read: Out for dinner with Martha. Laura. Slowly, Harry set his briefcase down. In the kitchen, he opened the refrigerator and found some cold meat for a sandwich.

PS: I'd love to hear your comments as we go along.

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More Blogs by Mary E Martin
• Should Authors Work for Free - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
• What Do You Look for in a Novel? - Saturday, December 01, 2007
• How much money is enough? - Monday, November 19, 2007
• The Making of The Osgoode Trilogy - Thursday, November 08, 2007
• A Trial of One and Final Paradox. - Thursday, June 07, 2007
• The Mad Doctor Robert Hawke - Wednesday, June 06, 2007
• The Osgoode Trilogy - Wednesday, January 31, 2007
• Happy New Year - Saturday, December 30, 2006
• Where Do Characters Come From? - Wednesday, December 13, 2006
• The Osgoode Trilogy. The writer and the book club. - Saturday, December 09, 2006
• PRLeap - Tuesday, December 05, 2006
• Conduct in Question excerpt. Osgoode Trilogy - Tuesday, September 26, 2006
•  The Osgoode Trilogy - Monday, September 18, 2006  
• Conduct in Question Reviews - Sunday, July 30, 2006
• Final Paradox/Conduct in Question - Tuesday, June 20, 2006
• Mary E. Martin Canada Book Expo - Monday, June 05, 2006
• Radio Interview Friday June 2nd - Wednesday, May 31, 2006
• Mary E. Martin Fiction/Truth? - Wednesday, May 31, 2006
• Fleeting Moments - Monday, May 29, 2006
• Conversations - Saturday, May 27, 2006

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