Ascension Sunday balloons are not the only things disappearing in the English village of Aidan Kirkwood. When the villagers celebrate the first Ascension Sunday Processional in fifty years, someone goes missing. A well off window that was amongst the crowd has vanished into thin air. And, she’s not the only one who’s nowhere to be found.
Berdie Elliott, the local vicar’s wife, goes into sleuth mode as eccentric cat lovers, a secretive informant, Portuguese holidays, an enigmatic “tree” house, and tangled family dynamics all add to the perplexing affair. Don’t let this mystery slip from your sight.
Into the Clouds Excerpt
With the ferocity of a sudden clap of thunder in a spring storm, the vicarage door bell invaded the treasured moment.
“I’ll get it.” Berdie pulled herself away and made way to the front door, deciding not to grumble but cherish the past uninterrupted hours shared with Hugh.
“Lillie,” Berdie greeted her nicely dressed but unexpected guest at the opened door. “Come in.”
“Must get on, but just wanted to tell you that Mrs. Mikalos was not seen by any local doctors nor admitted to any of the area hospitals including their morgues.”
“Well done, Lillie.” Berdie looked past Lillie’s shoulder to see Granville Morrison and his idling black Ford Fiesta with the word Transport painted on the side of the vehicle. He and his brother were the newest entrepreneurs in Aidan Kirkwood’s village services. “Having dinner with Loren in Timsley? Setting out plans for the Aunt Margaret visit, are we?”
A blues guitar reverberated from Berdie’s bag in the hallway while at the same moment Granville sounded his horn.
Lillie turned in a flash. “I’ll tell you all about it later,” she called out while walking briskly out to the taxi.
“Good, I’ll look forward to it.” Berdie closed the door and lunged toward her bag just in time to hear Hugh’s voice.
“What is that?” he called out.
Berdie grabbed her mobile and put it to her ear. “Mrs. Elliott”. She heard what sounded like a hoarse gasp of air.
“She’s in danger,” the graveled voice pronounced.
This person was not a playful lad. Berdie tried to keep her wits about her.
“Who’s in danger?”
“She’s in danger,” the wheezing voice repeated. “No police.”
“Who is this?” Berdie hoped she didn’t sound as alarmed as she felt. A course wheeze and a click were her only response.
“Who was at the door?” Hugh asked as he bounced into the hallway.
Berdie shoved her mobile in her bag. “Lillie,” she worked at appearing nonchalant. “She’s already gone.”
“Are you all right?”
Hugh’s question bored into Berdie’s veneer, but she held her own. “I just hope Lillie and Loren get on well at Aunt Margaret’s.”
“Someone on the mobile?” He pointed to her bag.
Berdie was not about to tell him the whole of it.
“I have no clue who the person was.” She laughed hoping Hugh would not catch the nervous edge of it.
He smiled. “Oh, I had one of those the other day.”
“Some bank I think it was, a survey. Those computer generated calls, so garbled and impersonal. Invasive as well.”
“Yes, invasive,” she improvised.
“Care for a cuppa?”
“Splendid.” She could use one at the moment.
“I’ll put the kettle on.” Hugh advanced toward the kitchen.
Berdie sunk to the bottom step of the hall stairway. She pulled her mobile out and tried to retrieve the call but it showed as number withheld. “She’s in danger, no police,” she repeated the words to herself. “Dear Lord have mercy.”