Monday, April 24, 2023

A Promise Fulfilled by Peggy Jaeger


A Promise Fulfilled
Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point: Book 4
by Peggy Jaeger

 

Book Blurb: 

 

Late October, Present Day 

 
After winning millions in a national lottery, local librarian Daisy Morgan sets out to revitalize the infamous Crow’s Nest Tavern. After saving the historic inn from the auction block, Daisy begins a major renovation only to discover some hidden secrets – and a few unearthly spirits – tied to the tavern’s history. 

 

Writer Keegan Warren arrives to do a story on the revitalization of the tavern weeks before the grand re-openingKeegan’s got a few secrets of his own about why he wanted the assignment – secrets that unfold no matter how diligently he tries to keep them hidden. 

 

With Daisy’s help, he unearths a centuries old murder tied to his family’s past. As they investigate, their mutual attraction grows. But will their budding relationship suffer when the truth is discovered? 

 

 

Excerpt: 

 

 

Down at the end of the boardwalk, Keegan found the town square used historically as an information highway prior to the modern age. He’d seen it referenced in research books as Execution Square. A tricorn-wearing town crier would have stood on a block of wood and read a royal decree or announced the names of the pirates and miscreants to be punished and hung for all to see. On hanging days, the square would fill with as many townsfolk as possible, children and even babies included.  

 

It never ceased to amaze him how bloodthirsty humans could be. 

 

The historical society had placed several tableaus in a semicircle surrounding what had once been the gallows. A sign next to it read Execution Square, just as his research had asserted. The structure was roped off and a large KEEP OFF sign stood front and center. Keegan didn’t have any doubts tourists and townies alike walked up the wooden staircase for a selfie when the mood struck. No guard stood watch, so the warning sign was more a suggestion than anything else.  

 

Keegan strolled to the edge of the square, which abutted the dock. Once a thriving waterway for European merchant ships delivering their wares to the new world, and pirates alike, the dock was now used as a walking path connecting the east side of the point to the west. Smack dab in the middle was another structure surrounded by rope and another warning signWith no will to stop himself, Keegan took the path toward it. 

 

A metal cage, at least five feet tall, hung from a ten-foot wooden pole, like a human-sized birdcage. The cage swung out over the bay, facing the ocean. While the gallows was a fast death, one quick rope snap to hang the miscreant by breaking his neck, the gibbet was a slow, painful, often lugubrious death. 

 

A criminal sentenced to die, usually for the crimes of piracy, murder, or treason, was thrown into the cage alive and shackled, and then the make-shift prison was secured with locks and ropes. They gave no food or water to the prisoner and, depending on weather conditions, the hunger of seagulls, and the health of the criminal, it could take anywhere from a few days to weeks for the person to die. The body was left to rot and when the stench got to be too much, or a new offender needed the cage, the remains were removed. 

 

The research was always a little blurry about whether the bodies were buried or tossed into the sea. Hangings, he’d read, were buried in the Potter’s Field at local cemeteries. He had a notion, though, more than one rotting corpse made its way to the backrooms of men who practiced the art of medicine, anatomy, and even alchemy, through a few well-placed coins greased along the undertaker’s palm. 

 

 

 

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