Kate stared out of the Jeep’s window. It was snowing quite hard now, and she found herself mesmerized by the swirling flakes driving toward her. She enjoyed the distraction because, for the first time in days, her mind was still. Free from the image of her boyfriend having sex with another woman in their bed.
Not that he was any great loss, she consoled herself. If she’d had more guts, she would have ended the relationship months ago. Never mind. She was going to enjoy the next few days. A tingle of excitement gripped her tummy; she’d always wanted to go on a murder mystery weekend. She took the invite out of her purse and read it yet again.
To Emma Strobes,
In gratitude for all your hard work in making Macro Builds a success, you are invited to Georgia House for a weekend of intrigue and murder!
She hadn’t been able to believe it when Emma, who claimed to be far to busy to go, offered her the chance to go instead. Especially as they weren’t particularly close anyway. Emma didn’t have many female friends. But Kate knew it was less about being generous and more about spending time in bed with her boss while his wife was away. Still, all Kate had to do was answer to the name of Emma and one fabulous weekend was to be hers.
The snow was still falling as the Jeep pulled up outside Georgia House. Situated in the highlands of Scotland it was the impressive get-away home of Paul Rhodes, managing director and founder of Macro Builds.
As she climbed down from the 4x4, Kate looked around her at the beautiful, if isolated, site. Fields blanketed by snow surrounded the main building, and they in turn gave way to a wall of trees. Beyond that it was impossible to tell as the snow had created an impenetrable wall of white.
Kate turned, trying to take in the house, but the weather made it impossible. All that could be gained was an image of size and solidity. She noticed that the others had already entered through a rather grand doorway, and she hurried forward to catch up.
A somewhat large lady was addressing everyone in the entrance hall. She carried an air of brisk efficiency that demanded attention. She might have looked like everyone’s favorite grandma with her tight grey curls and plump, rosy cheeks, but her manner was severe and business-like. “Welcome to Georgia House. My name is Mrs. Hades, and I’m the housekeeper. Mr. Rhodes is sorry he could not be here to greet you himself, but unfortunately he has pressing business abroad. You will be escorted up to your rooms, where I hope everything is in order. Once you’ve settled in there shall be hot drinks available in the drawing room followed by dinner at seven.” She took a deep breath then lowered her voice, continuing in what she presumably thought was a menacing hiss. “Then at some point after that, a murder shall occur!”
Kate heard a suppressed snigger from one of the others in the group. There were six altogether, and Kate hoped they would get to know each other better over the weekend.
“Excuse me, Miss Strobes.”
Kate looked at the maid blankly, then realisation hit. “Yes, yes that’s me. Of course it is. Silly thing to say,” she exclaimed, following the bemused maid to the stairs.
Wow, thought Kate. She owed Emma big time. The house was fabulous, and she couldn’t stop staring. It was just the place for a murder mystery weekend. Very Agatha Christie. The entrance hall was huge and decorated in very heavy, luxurious colors. The mahogany staircase swept up past enormous portraits encased within gilt frames. The carpet was a rich patterned red that complimented the many tapestries hung from the walls, most of which depicted hunting scenes of one type or another. The impression of wealth was sealed by the presence of an elaborate chandelier hanging down the centre of the staircase, ending just before it touched the floor.
Kate thought of her small flat in Chelsea. It would probably fit three times over in the entrance hall alone. The upper landing was equally opulent with thick wooden doors spaced along the length, while heavy wooden furniture filled the gaps in between.
“This,” sighed Kate, “is how I was meant to live!”
“You and me both, Miss Strobes,” said the maid.
“Please, call me K…Emma,” said Kate, embarrassed by the maid’s formality.
“My name’s Jane, Emma,” the maid replied. “And this is your room.”
Jane opened the door and held it for her to pass. As Kate stepped inside, the grandeur nearly overwhelmed her. Not only was it massive, it was beautiful. An enormous four poster bed dominated the room dressed in a rich, red satin throw and piled high with gold cushions. Heavy tapestries hung from the walls, and in front of a set of elegant French windows stood a chaise lounge, embroidered in gold and red thread. The furniture was made of heavy oak with patterns and swirls carved into its sturdy exterior. Despite the room’s size, it was lovely and warm, courtesy of a large open fire on the wall opposite the bed.
“I’ll let you unpack,” Jane said, no doubt used to the incredulous stares of the houseguests.
Once the maid had gone, Kate threw herself backward onto the bed. “Yes!” she shouted. This weekend was going to be fantastic.
© Gillian Ferry
A Murderous Weekend
Author: Gillian Ferry
Genre: Erotic Romance
Kate can't believe her luck when she is given the opportunity to attend a lavish weekend of Murder Mystery fun. Unfortunately make-believe becomes reality as one after the other the guests become victims of a malicious killer.
Now the isolated beauty of the Scottish Highlands seems sinister and cruel. Kate doesn't know who to trust and who to run from. Should she place her faith Sam, gorgeous and desirable but obviously hiding something? Or try to protect herself from an evil killer?