Book Info

Clyde Smith Mystery
Series Type:
Individual Stories
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MoshPit Publishing
22 September 2022
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“I swear to God it was Willoughby. My brother stood not two feet away from me, called me Lina to my face, and pulled Harley into his arms, saying he was sorry, sobbing, and calling him his boy.”

An apparition in Sydney’s fruit and vegetable market leaves the mother of one of Clyde’s best friends believing that her brother, hanged for murder twenty-four years beforehand, has somehow risen from the grave and confronted her.

She is adamant that the visitation was real and visits Clyde asking him to investigate the mass murder her brother was supposed to have committed. She believes he was either set up or was covering for someone else’s crime.

Could this vision have been a folie à deux, a delusional vision shared by both mother and son? As Clyde investigates, clues lead him to one of Australia’s most famous silent screen actors, a man who, together with his murdered father, becomes intrinsically linked to the mass murder, known as The Killing at Candal Creek.

Wheels within wheels, lies, extortion, and coverups lead Clyde to a bloody confrontation on a deserted beach in the tropics. This time, it’s not only his own life at risk but also that of one of his most valued and closest friends.

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I was in my “puzzle room” when I heard Harry’s cooee from the front door.

I called it a puzzle room because that’s the phrase we’d used during the war to describe a safe place where we could discuss plans, devise strategies, and toss ideas around. Mine was my bathroom, lying on my back in the bath with the lights out and the shower falling onto my legs, the only illumination from the flickering blue light of the gas geyser. After eating dinner, I’d listened to Mama Lena’s Arrivederci Roma radio programme then had got stuck into some research on Elwood Pearson.

I could hear Harry clunking around in the hallway. “I’m in here!” I called out.

“I know!” he responded, then appeared in the doorway, totally naked except for the black bow tie around his neck and wearing his socks and garters.

“What happened to the master of the house looking for the lazy footman?” I said, laughing because I could see he was more than three sheets to the wind.

He climbed into the tub and sat between my legs, water pouring over his head, grinning at me stupidly. “I changed it,” he said. “It’s master of the house, pissed out of his skull, ravishing the naked footman in the bathtub.”

“Come here,” I said, and pulled his head down for a kiss. “You’re not that drunk,” I added, my hand having found no evidence of brewer’s droop.

“Shh!” he said, biting my chin. “Mark’s crashed in the spare room.”


“Too many cocktails, both of us. We caught a taxi and he helped me up the stairs.”

“So, no noise then?”

“Nup,” he said, then pulled my legs around his hips and let forth a loud wolf-howl.

I laughed then pushed my wet washcloth between his teeth, which he spat out then attacked my mouth with his own. I really hoped Mark had closed his bedroom door. When Harry was in this sort of mood, he could make a lot of noise … not that I was complaining.


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