A Ghost to Die For: Shannon Delaney Paranormal Mystery Series, Vol. 5 [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox
eBook Category: Mystery/Crime/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox Shannon Delaney Paranormal Mystery Series, Vol. 5 Halloween night, 2012. Mount Esperanza Memorial Park, San Diego. Shannon Delaney and Alex Blackthorne accept assignment to guard the grave of Andalyn Dixon, who died on her twenty-first birthday, October 31st, 1892, before she could prove her innocence in one of San Diego's most notorious bank scandals, October Hoax of 1891. Legend says, Andalyn was scared to death, by a ghost. And now, by request of Mt. Esperanza Restoration Committee, Shannon and Alex keep sentry over Andalyn to prevent scam artists from staging claims of Andalyn speaking to them from beyond the grave, and thus, allowing the truth to be revealed. The cryptic facts surrounding Andalyn's life and death lead Shannon on a journey of discovery into the past to answer the nagging questions of: Was Andalyn Dixon involved in the bank scam? Did Andalyn attempt to hide her guilt? Was Andalyn scared to death, by a ghost? ISBN 978-1-61386-081-6 Paranormal, Mystery, Series, Ghost,
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net/ebooksonthe.net, Published: ebook, 2012
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2012
Alex was exactly where he said he would be. Not that I doubted him, but wandering through a cemetery on Halloween evening, looking for a giant Celtic cross monument, I began to wonder if I would find him. Frustrated and feeling lost, I stopped in my tracks and surveyed the grounds, looking out and over a fence hedge of ivy, I spotted the giant cross about sixty feet away. I quickened my pace and arrived slightly out of breath and very relieved to see Alex standing underneath the cross.
"You are late, that's not like you," Alex commented. His tone of concern was obvious, he was not complaining.
"I had trouble finding the right path. As I entered the front gates one of the staff greeted me, and then he lent me a flashlight and pointed me in the opposite direction from where I should have started. Of course I did not know that, consequently I headed out in the wrong direction. I've been wandering about following one path, then another, until I saw a signpost that pointed this way to the Celtic Cross Monument. I've had a thorough walking tour of Mount Esperanza Memorial Park. I've been hoofing it for the better part of the hour. Oh, and I wasn't able to get cell phone reception here." If Alex read into my explanation a dreary sense of whining, he was correct. I was complaining.
He hugged me. "Here, have a seat. This concrete bench is not very comfortable, but we won't be here long, I promise."
I sat down and pulled my trench coat in close around me. "It is chilly tonight. Tell me again, why am I your emergency date for this evening's event." I tried to smile.
"Ah, yes. My colleague Jenna Hayes was supposed to be here, but she called this afternoon with an excuse, saying she had her little nephew to baby-sit and take him out for trick-or-treating, something about his mom having come down ill, and so on. Anyway, I sincerely appreciate you taking me up on my unusual, albeit, very appropriate Halloween adventure. I think you'll like the presentation of Haunted Lit."
I gave Alex a side-glance look, conveying my doubts. "So, as you briefly explained in your phone call, this Haunted Lit is some sort of entertainment? And a fund-raiser?"
"Yes. The evening's event is a fund-raiser for ongoing restoration here at Mount Esperanza. The concept is that a traveling troupe of actors with audience members in tow, has scheduled stops throughout the cemetery and at each stop they perform a skit from a well-known play, poem or such. Here at the Celtic Cross Monument, they will perform Edgar Allen Poe's poem, The Raven. We're here to politely cheer them on and keep guard over the dead."
I looked at Alex and it dawned on me he was dressed in costume. He looked the part of an actor in Haunted Lit as if he would be the actor reciting Poe's famous poem. Dressed all in black, as the magician he actually is, but he wasn't in his modern stage apparel. Alex was the epitome of a Victorian era magician, dressed in formal black attire, black cape and top hat, with a sleek silver-domed walking stick at his side. "You are a handsome devil, decked out like that. Had I known, I could have scared up some kind of costume." I smiled and then realized that flirting with Alex put me into a much better mood.
"Let's not be too trivial, we are serving a greater good, keeping watch over the graves in our immediate circle." Alex was serious and his comment brought me back to the reason we were here.
We sat on a small bench directly underneath the huge Celtic cross. I looked up and estimated the cross must be at least fifteen feet high. The bench was situated on a circle of flat concrete stones that stretched out in a diameter that seemed to equal the height of the cross. I let my gaze wander out to the edge of the pavement. Small headstones marked the diameter, much like numerals mark the face of a clock. I looked all the way around and counted twelve gravesites. Until that very moment, I had not realized we were encircled by graves. Wide-eyed, I looked to Alex and asked, "You mean to say, we are guarding these twelve graves?"
"Yes. And for good reason, the grave directly in front of us, it is the grave of Andalyn Dixon, a young woman who passed on Halloween night in 1892, on her twenty-first birthday. She is rumored to have died with a secret on her lips regarding a treasure in stolen bank funds. Reportedly, she was scared to death by the presence of a ghost. Her time of death is at 9:32. And that is exactly the time that the troupe will be here to perform The Raven."
"Her grave needs guarding because people try to...what? Communicate with her? Vandalize the site? Dig her up? Alex, stop being so cryptic, I want the details."
Alex glanced at his watch and then said, "We have only a few minutes before the actors and their audience shows up, listen carefully. I'll explain in full later. According to legend, Andalyn will try to communicate with a person she feels she can trust, and she'll do this on Halloween night at the exact minute of her death in order to let her story be told. She was vilified, as the accomplice to one of San Diego's most famous bank scams.
The two men responsible got away clean and Andalyn was held responsible, though legally, nothing ever came of it. However, social circles of her time ostracized her. Her death was a complete mystery, I mean, scared to death by a ghost? How factual can that be? Anyway, many people, too many in fact, would love to be the person that Andalyn communicates with. Most of these so-called well-meaning people, who seek to clear Andalyn's reputation, are just scam artists out to make a name for themselves as mediums, psychics, soothsayers, and such. So on the eve of Haunted Lit, we, the members of Mount Esperanza's Restoration Committee have a person on site, who can, shall we say, intervene and debunk any attempt to claim that Andalyn Dixon is present."
I nodded in agreement. I heard voices and footsteps behind me. I turned to see that the crowd of actors and audience members were approaching. I leaned into Alex and whispered in his ear, "And who better to have on guard to debunk a scam than a professional magician who knows all the tricks of the trade."
Alex gave me an intimate hug, a sly wink and then shushed me. "Quiet now, the performance is about to begin."