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Iona Whishaw

A Match

Made for Murder

A Lane Winslow Mystery

For my delightful grandsons, Teo and Tyson, in the hopes of encouraging them in the idea that it is never too early, nor too late, to do things you love.

Table of Contents

Title Page


Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty


About the Author

Praise for the Series

Chapter One

November 1947

Lane’s first impression was of the whiteness. The mid-afternoon sun, which she had always thought of as golden, bleached everything here to the purity of bones. The endless desert had given way to adobe and wood houses that seemed to lie low away from the sun, and then to the white of the station they were approaching.

Her honeymoon. It was ridiculous and wonderful. A year and a half before, she had arrived at King’s Cove, a tiny hamlet an hour outside of the city of Nelson, in the middle of British Columbia, and moved into her beautiful house among her eccentric neighbours with no other object than to lose herself, and her memories, and put the war behind her. The danger of dropping out of airplanes into occupied France carrying weapons and encrypted messages began to seem more and more like a life that had happened to someone else. The misery of her first love affair had been swept away, almost against her own better judgement, by Frederick Darling, inspector of the Nelson Police.

She looked at him now, his dark hair slightly tousled from leaning against the window, and her heart skipped. They’d had a bad start, she had to admit: he had arrested her over the death of a man on her property. He was extraordinarily reserved, not to say impenetrable, but he had come, very slowly and most reluctantly, to accept that she had some skills that were invaluable in some of his other cases. And she in turn had come to appreciate his profound sense of justice, and his philosophical turn of mind, perhaps a product of his surprisingly academic background. She had not expected a degree in literature from a policeman. She wondered if either of them had realized how completely they were falling in love. She smiled. She was pretty sure his sidekick, Sergeant Ames, had. She wouldn’t have been surprised to learn it was he who had pointed it out to Darling.

“Not terribly punctual. It’s gone two forty-five,” she said, consulting her watch. The train screeched, as if protesting at having to slow down, and then stopped and hissed. People began to stand up, stretch, and reach for their bags. It had been a long day’s ride from Los Angeles.

“You want precision on a honeymoon. How delightful!” Darling said. “It’s hotter than blazes. I’m overdressed.” He took his hat off the seat and fanned himself. “Well, shall we?”

A porter appeared as they stepped off the train. Lane paused and took a deep breath. She loved arriving in a place she’d never been. Warmth emanated from the tiles of the platform and off the white walls of the station, and a breeze made the movement of air almost sensual on her face.

“Can I get your bags, sir, ma’am?”

“That would be lovely, thank you,” Lane said. “What is the temperature today?”

“A balmy seventy-eight, ma’am.” The porter touched his cap briefly and led the way to the baggage car, pushing a trolley.

“You see, darling, a perfect summer day at home. My husband thinks it is too hot,” she continued to the porter, following him, her handbag over her arm.

“Oh, no, ma’am. This is just how we like it. Summertime? Now that’s a punishing time in Arizona. It can get up over a hundred. You just wanna crawl under a rock like a lizard. Vacation?”

“Honeymoon,” Lane said, embarrassed to feel her cheeks flushing.

“Well now, that’s something! Congratulations and welcome to Tucson. Will you be needing a taxi?”

“Yes,” said Darling, “thank you.” He reached into his jacket for some coins.

The station platform felt ghostly in the white afternoon despite chattering travellers getting on and off the train. Lane and Darling followed the porter into the station, where it took her a moment to adjust to the darkness. Inside, the shade contrasted sharply with the blinding light of the street visible through the windows. Sharp, she decided was the operative word. Sharp shadows, sharp light, sharp lines.

“Where shall I tell the driver y’all are headed?”

“The Santa Cruz Inn,” Darling said. He produced the coins and the porter tipped his hat, turning a beaming smile on Lane.

“You have a wonderful honeymoon, you hear?”

“You made a conquest there,” Darling remarked, settling in the back seat of the cab after asking to be conveyed to the Santa Cruz Inn. “I wonder how Ames is getting on?”

“Don’t be silly. We’ve only been gone four days. This is a complete vacation from mayhem. We’re going to get along like a house on fire because I won’t be interfering in anything. I plan to lie by the pool with an improving book during the day and make up for it by swilling cocktails in the evening. I hope they have cocktails.”

“They got cocktails, ma’am,” the driver interjected from the front seat. “You got the best there. All the actors go there. Very swanky. Pretty new, too. My sister Consuela works there, cleaning.”

“Oh, is it far?” she asked—the driver looked Mexican, and Lane had expected him to speak with an

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