Romance and Mystery in 1920s Manhattan!
GOOD NIGHT, ANGELA
A Trixie Frank – Sean Costigan 1920s Romantic Mystery
A homicide detective and a tabloid reporter suspect there’s more to the case than meets the eye when a popular Midwestern radio evangelist is kidnapped for ransom after she appears to a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden.
WHEN THINGS AREN’T WHAT THEY SEEM…
New York City. Spring, 1925.
Tabloid reporter Trixie Frank is glad that her sister, Harriet, a barnstorming pilot for the cross-country tour of a famous radio evangelist, will be coming to New York for their last stop. She can’t wait for Harriet to meet the new man in her life, Detective Sean Costigan. She’s also excited that she’ll get an exclusive interview with the celebrity lady preacher.
When the flamboyant young evangelist Angela Skott goes missing only hours after she appears before a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden, Trixie is sitting on the biggest scoop of her career. The only clue left behind is a ransom note pinned to Angela’s hotel room pillow.
After Sean Costigan responds to Trixie’s call, he senses something amiss, but if Angela is to be recovered alive, there’s no choice but to comply with her kidnapper’s demands. Then a ransom drop goes awry, kidnapping turns to murder, and Sean and Trixie realize nothing has been what it seems.
With Sean’s career on the line and a murderer poised to walk free, Sean and Trixie must travel across the country to prove not only whodunit but why.
An Excerpt from Good Night, Angela …
Silence reigned as they motored up the steep incline to the bridge. The sun had set. As they topped the motor car ramp, the black, web-like threads of the suspension cables came into view against the moonlit night sky over Brooklyn.
“You didn’t tell me why you’re still on the case,” Trixie said when they neared the Brooklyn side. “I hope it’s not because you have reason to think Angela is dead.”
“For all we know, she is, but it’s actually Mike Devlin’s doing. Aside from a few underworld snatchings, not a lot of guys have any more experience than I do with these cases. No matter how this pans out, Mike thinks it’ll attract the press.”
“Oh, yes, and you’ve got plenty of experience with that,” Trixie said slyly. “After all, you attracted me.”
Sean slid her a side glance that turned her insides to butter. “I’d say it’s the other way around, doll, but I don’t think that’s what Mike was talking about.”
“Oh, I know what he was talking about. The commissioner is just fine with you taking on the big publicity cases. If you solve them, it looks good for everyone. If you don’t—”
“I take the heat and get transferred to the Bronx,” Sean finished.
Trixie knew about the enmity that existed between Sean and the police commissioner. The man held a grudge against Sean because of Sean’s work before the war with his now-deceased uncle, “Honest” Brian Costigan. Honest Brian and the man who occupied the commissioner’s office had accumulated bad history.
“Except this case won’t be going south,” Trixie said as Sean turned onto Madison Street. “We already have a sketch of the kidnapper.”
“We don’t have anything,” he reminded her. “You’ve been gagged, remember?”
“Of course I remember.”
“How much did you tell Merryweather?”
Trixie didn’t like the question. She’d promised both her sister and Sean to keep all that she learned off the record, at least until Angela could be found. Yet, she couldn’t keep her managing editor in the dark.
“I told Julius the truth,” she said. “He’s the one who put me on this assignment when I told him Harriet was Angela’s pilot. He expected me to turn in a story on our tour of the city.”
Sean said nothing, only kept his attention trained on the red taillights ahead of them.
Trixie balked at his reticence. “Well, I couldn’t lie to him, could I?”
Sean gave her a look, and this one did nothing to warm her girl parts. She knew what he was thinking. She’d told him a few stretchers during the Abigail Stewart Welles investigation—or, more precisely, she’d omitted a few items. Everything she’d done had been for the sake of helping him solve his case, but he’d failed to see it that way.
“He was expecting a story,” Trixie tried again, “and I needed him to give me enough leash to follow this through.”
Sean wasn’t so easily put off. “But will he sit on it?”
“Of course he’ll sit on it.” Trixie hoped she sounded confident enough to move him off the subject.
Julius Merryweather had grudgingly agreed to honor Trixie’s promise to keep Angela’s kidnapping under wraps, but only so long as she was kept informed of the case-in-progress and there was no speculation regarding Angela’s whereabouts from the other papers in town.
The longer this ordeal dragged on, though, the more Brother John’s cover story, that Angela was suffering with a bad cold, would wear thin. When it became apparent that no one had seen Angela in days, one of the more aggressive papers would be bound to start digging.
Sean parked the radio car across the street from the three-story rooming house for women that Trixie called home and turned off the motor. They listened to the looming silence of the quiet residential neighborhood before Sean turned to regard her in the sparse light afforded by the nearest street lamp.
“So, what happens when a reporter makes a promise her editor won’t keep?”
Nuts. Trixie should have known he wouldn’t be so easily satisfied. She leaned in, tilting her chin up so that her mouth hovered close to his. How easy would it be to distract him? “I said he’s going to sit on it, Detective. As long as I keep him informed, he’ll be fine. At least, until some of the other papers start nosing around. By then…”
“Yeah?” His voice dropped low. His attention was moving off the case.
“You’ll have found Angela, and it’ll be all clear for me to break the story.”
He touched the side of her face, ran his forefinger lightly back along the line of her jaw. “That’s a pretty thought.”
“Isn’t it, though?” Trixie closed her eyes. How just a touch from him could set off a swarm of images of hot and sweaty doodling was confounding.
“You sure you want to spend the night with your sister?” he posed. “We could go back to my place.”
His place? Oh, no, no, no. She was putty in his hands, but she couldn’t let him know that. They weren’t even on a date. She had to pull herself together.
Trixie bit her lip hard enough to hurt, then opened her eyes. “But what if something happens? What if the kidnappers contact her again and I miss it?”
“They won’t.” With one finger, he continued to trace a slow, soft, provocative line down the length of her throat. “Not tonight. And, even if they would, Mooney will be there.”
“That won’t impress my editor.”
“No, I guess not.” His finger paused along its travels, coming to rest at the dip in the v-neck of her blouse.
They looked at each other in the dark. Was he thinking what she was thinking? Trying to recall what their unwritten rules were? Wondering if maybe the biggest one might suffer to be bent?
Strangely enough, their biggest rule was the one they never spoke aloud. No sex during the week. They were pals during the week. No ties, no commitments, no muddying of those treacherous romantic waters. Very casual. Very modern. Very 1925. They had dinner at Bickford’s most nights, though sometimes, just for variety, they went for Chinese and a picture show at the Rialto. That was as far as it went. Until Friday.
So…what day of the week was it? Tuesday?
A flivver’s headlights flashed in the rear view mirror, yanking Trixie from her reverie. The light brightened as it neared, then melted to nothing as it passed and continued down the street.
“Uh… you said you needed to stop by headquarters,” Trixie reminded him.
“Right.” Sean blew out a heavy sigh, pulled back, and the maddening tension between them eased.
Trixie couldn’t read his face in the shadows. He’d distracted her. Maybe that was why it hadn’t occurred to her until now that it seemed odd that Sean would be heading back to headquarters at this hour to finish paperwork. He wasn’t a paperwork kind of fella.
“You are going back to headquarters, right? That’s what you said before we left Bickford’s.”
“Yes. You said it would be no trouble to take me home to pack a bag and then drop me off at the hotel because you had to go back to headquarters to finish up some reports.”
“Mmm, no, I don’t think so.”
“No, kid. What I said was, I had some reports to finish. I didn’t say anything about finishing them tonight.”
Trixie smelled a rat. “If you’re not going back to headquarters, then just where are you intending to go?”
“Police business my patootie. Who put you onto this case? Whose sister recognized your suspect from seeing him at the airfield yesterday? Who—”
He put a finger across her lips. “If I tell you, you have to swear on that sweet patootie that no one will hear about this, and I mean no one. Not your sister. Not Merryweather.”
She pushed his finger aside. “If I breathe so much as one word to either of them, my sweet patootie is all yours.”
“I win either way.” He leaned close enough that she caught the flash of his smile in the dark. It was a smile of the Friday night variety. “I like it.”
“So spill the beans.”
“I stopped by Mike Devlin’s office today, but that’s not why I was late to dinner. I left Mike’s to meet Mooney at the Golden Chariot Cab Company.”
“You mean he found the cabbie who picked up Angela last night? Did you talk to him?”
“Yes! Did he tell you where he took her?”
“107 West 45th.”
“What? Oh, that can’t be right. He must’ve been mistaken. That’s near Times Square.” It was more than just the dubious night life in that part of town that didn’t fit. It was the address itself that was familiar—107 West 45th was the hottest night spot in town. “Holy Toledo! That’s—”
“La Porte Rouge,” Sean said.
“Betty Diamond’s place.” Trixie was stunned. “What business could an out-of-town lady preacher have in a hoochie coochie club after midnight?”
“Good question,” Sean said. “Want to go find out?”
Good Night, Angela is a stand-alone romantic mystery sequel to It Had to Be You and Goodbye, Tootsie. It’s a complete mystery that can be read alone or out of sequence from the first two books. It contains mild romantic elements, which means it may include love scenes (not graphic).
Trixie Frank – Sean Costigan 1920s Romantic Mysteries in Sequence
It Had to Be You – November, 1924
Goodbye, Tootsie – January, 1925
Good Night, Angela – March 1925
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Romance – 1920s New York
Length: 98,000 words
Sensuality: Sexual references. Contains mild love scenes.
Version: First edition ebook.
Release date: January 2017
Published by: Delynn Royer
1920s Detective Fiction
1920s Romantic Mystery
Good Night, Angela cover art design by Fiona Jayde Media
Learn more About Fiona here
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