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N. S. Wikarski

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The Fall Of White City
by N. S. Wikarski   

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Books by N. S. Wikarski
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Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  Createspace ISBN-10:  1468147099 Type: 
Pages: 

232

Copyright:  12/21/2011 ISBN-13:  9781468147094
Fiction

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Myth Of History
Myth Of History

GILDED AGE CHICAGO HISTORY MYSTERIES:
1893 World's Fair White City

Nominated for Reader's Choice Awards as Best First Novel and Best Historical Mystery
 
Nominated for a Lovey Award as Best Traditional Amateur Sleuth
 
“A first-rate, top of the line cozy that provides the reader with plenty of atmosphere and page turning what-ifs. Even the best armchair detectives will have a tough time trying to name the killer.” -- Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine
 
“The author's sense of dialogue is crisp and clever. The complex moral ambiguities of the novel will stay with you long after you've finished reading.” --Roundtable Reviews
 
A Liberated Woman Of The Progressive Era
Gilded Age heiress Evangeline LeClair leads a paradoxical life. By day, she fends off marriage-minded suitors. By night, she teaches English to factory workers at a social settlement in the slums. Evangeline is quite satisfied with the status quo until murder disrupts her routine. One of her students, a penniless immigrant named Elsa, has been murdered in Chicago’s most exclusive hotel. Elsa’s brother Franz, a known anarchist, stages a scene in the hotel lobby the night before his sister is murdered. The police arrest him the following morning.
 
Improbable Sleuths
Evangeline believes Franz is innocent. She also believes that no anarchist will get a fair trial in Chicago in the wake of the Haymarket Riot. Evangeline decides she must track down the real killer and she wheedles one of her admirers, Freddie Simpson, into helping her investigate. She persuades Freddie that breaking a murder case will win him the star reporter job he’s always coveted. Freddie isn’t thrilled with her plan but he grudgingly agrees to lend a hand.
 
The unlikely detectives divide up their list of suspects. Evangeline takes on the challenge of questioning her robber baron acquaintances as well as denizens of the slums. Freddie is assigned the unsavory chore of interviewing a shady doctor who mixes his own drugs and a teenage prostitute at a sporting house in the levee district.
 
White City Secrets
When the two compare notes, all their evidence points to the same conclusion. Elsa met a mysterious gentleman at the Columbian Exposition fairgrounds. He became her lover and possibly her killer as well. The grand White City build on Chicago’s lakefront during the summer of 1893 has lured millions to marvel at its wonders. The massive crowds would make it easy for a murderer to hide in plain sight.
 
Dangerous Discoveries
As Evangeline inches closer to solving the mystery of Elsa’s death, someone shoves her off a cliff to keep her from exposing the truth. Barely recovered from that incident, she must then deflect a marriage proposal from a suitor named Jonathan. Although Evangeline feels attracted to him, her fascination turns to dread when she discovers that her admirer may know more about Elsa’s demise than he admits.
 
The amateur detectives race to unmask their unknown opponent before he disappears into the shadows of the fairgrounds for good. Will Evangeline and Freddie succeed in bringing Elsa’s killer to justice? Read The Fall Of White City to find out.
 
 
 
 
Excerpt
Chapter 1 -- The Heiress And The Seamstress
October, 1893

“Freddie! Freddie! Wake up!” a voice demanded out of the darkness. The words were punctuated by the clatter of stone against glass. A faint drizzle fell as the residents of Shore Cliff slept content. All, that is, except Evangeline LeClair, who was standing on the lawn of Freddie Simpson’s house throwing rocks at a second-story window.

"Freddie! Do wake up,” the voice insisted. “Have you gone deaf? Half the village must be up by now!”

Dodging a fresh volley of pebbles, the lucky object of all this attention craned his head out of the besieged window. He leaned over the sill, squinting through the mist to identify his attacker. Recognition dawned, since the sun wasn’t ready to oblige him. “Engie? Engie, is that you,” he gasped. “For God’s sake, what are you doing?”

“I’m attempting to raise the dead,” the lady replied succinctly from below.

“I won’t make the mistake of asking if you know what time it is!” Freddie knew from sad experience that Evangeline’s motives for doing anything, like the will of God, were frequently obscure.

“I’m well aware of the time. It’s precisely six o’clock in the morning, and I need you to go to the city with me today.”

“What on earth – ”

Evangeline cut in, “Come to my house at eight. We’ll take the late commuter train. It’s a very serious matter."

Freddie could barely hear her next words. He could have sworn the wind shaking in the treetops distorted the sound.

“We have a funeral to attend. A friend of mine has been murdered.” Leaving the young man to collect his wits as best he might, she turned and melted into the fog.


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