Book Excerpt: DEATH BY BOURBON by Abigail Keam

Death By Bourbon by Abigail Keam
ISBN:  9780615651590 (Paperback)
ASIN:  B0098BMV54 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Worker Bee Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2012

Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party for guess who . . . Matt. Matt? Yes Matt.

Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon. That would be upsetting enough, but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer. The three of them conspire to bring the murderer to justice. It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them. 

To make matters worse, Josiah’s daughter, Asa, decides to move to London, Franklin leaves town and Jake starts singing a different tune. Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone. Maybe it’s time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.


Chapter 18

    I kept thinking about Doreen’s ring. It sort of rang a bell with me. No pun intended.

   On a hunch, I pulled out my books on Renaissance paintings and looked in the glossaries for mention of the notorious Borgia family.  Finally I found a reference to Dosso Dossi for his painting Portrait Of A Youth painted in 1514. Flipping to the correct page, there was the picture of a golden-haired youth dressed in dour clothing, almost like a Puritan’s of the seventeenth century instead of the flamboyant, rich clothing of Rome during the flowering of the Renaissance. It was also hard to tell if the youth was male or female even though the print stated that person was Lucrezia Borgia.

    I had seen several portraits of Lucrezia during my travels to Italy and this person did resemble that young girl.  

    Lucrezia Borgia was the illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, also known as Pope Alexander VI. The corrupt political and sexual machinations of Pope Alexander VI, which included the famous Chestnut Ball at the Vatican, are said to have laid the groundwork for the Reformation in 1520. Among the many juicy accusations against the Borgia family was incest between father and daughter, orgies and most particularly – political assassinations by poison. Nice family, huh.

    It was rumored that Lucrezia did her fair share of poisoning by use of a special ring with a secret compartment filled with poison, which she used on selected guests during dinner.  

    And, looking at the portrait I saw a ring on her finger – a large gold bauble just like Doreen was wearing. Was Doreen’s copy of Lucrezia Borgia’s ring hollow too? Did it have a special compartment?

    That’s what I needed to find out. I drummed the desk. Now how could I get that ring off Doreen’s finger to see?   

    I would figure a way.

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Author: thebookdivasreads

I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.

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