Excerpt From Murder Under a Full Moon

Chapter One

A white gloved butler opened the door of Mona’s silver Rolls Royce and offered his hand to help her and Violet out of the car.

Mona handed him their engraved invitation cards.  “I am Miss Mona Moon and my companion is Miss Violet Tate.  I believe the First Lady is expecting us for lunch.”

“Yes, Miss Moon.” He then looked at Violet and greeted her.  “Miss.”

Violet nervously nodded back while clutching her stomach, which felt like a thousand butterflies were taking flight.

Taking note of Violet’s apprehension, the butler gave a ghost of a smile before smothering it.  “Come this way, please.”

A Marine sentry opened the door to the White House as Mona and Violet followed the butler into the main hall and stopped before a podium with a registration book.  “Please sign in with your name, official title, and town.  Mrs. Roosevelt likes to keep a record of all her visitors.”

“Of course,” Mona replied, bending over to sign the book.  She wrote Miss Mona

Moon, Moon Enterprises Owner, Lexington, Kentucky in longhand.  When finished, she handed the fountain pen to Violet.

“Me?”

“You’re a guest of Mrs. Roosevelt’s, aren’t you, Violet?”

“I thought I would be having lunch with the maids in the kitchen.”

The butler shook his head. “No, Miss.  You both are to dine with the First Lady.”

“Oh, dear,” Violet said, looking wide-eyed at Mona.

“Just sign.  I’ll be right next to you throughout the entire luncheon,” Mona said. 

Violet signed the book, taking care with her letters and writing in cursive.  When finished, she handed the fountain pen to the butler.

He replaced the cap and laid it back on the pedestal.  “Follow me, please.”

They wandered through several corridors and up one flight in the elevator, whereupon they were shown into a small receiving room.

The butler said, “Mrs. Roosevelt and Mrs. Longworth will join you shortly.”

“I see.”

“May I pour you a sherry or any beverage of your choice?”

Mona replied, “No, thank you.  We’re fine.”

“Very good then.  Just push the button next to the door if you require anything.”

“Thank you,” Violet said absent-mindedly, taking in the room.

Again, the butler shot Violet a small smile before quietly shutting the door to the room. 

“I can’t believe we are in the White House!” Violet exclaimed.  “And I’m about to meet one of the most famous women in the world.”

“Violet, please calm down.  I’m nervous, too.  I just hope I don’t spill anything and embarrass us,” Mona said, biting her lip.

“Nervous, Miss Mona?” Violet said, wide-eyed.  “Somehow that makes me feel better.”  She paused, glancing about.  “Wouldn’t Mr. Thomas love to talk with the staff here?  Look at all this lovely furniture and the flower arrangements.  So perfect.  So regal.”

“I’ve seen nothing yet to throw shame on Mr. Thomas.  He runs Moon Manor like a well-oiled machine.”

“I didn’t mean to suggest he didn’t.  I just meant that he would love to see how the staff runs things at the White House.”

“Sorry, Violet.  I’m a little edgy this morning.”  Mona exhaled and sat down in one of the floral-pattern overstuffed chairs.  “Violet.  I hear voices.”

Violet strained to listen.

Behind the white pocket doors on the other end of the room, Mona and Violet heard raised voices. They both leaned toward the commotion.

“Can you make out who it is?” Mona asked.

Violet tiptoed to the door and pressed her ear against the wood.  “It’s Alice Longworth and Mrs. Roosevelt.  I recognize Mrs. Roosevelt’s voice from the radio.”

“Well?”

“I can’t make out what they are saying, but it sounds rather heated.”

The arguing stopped and silence prevailed.

“Oh, dear,” Violet said, hopping away from the pocket doors as they were slid back.

In the entrance stood the First Lady of the United States—Eleanor Roosevelt.

Behind her peeked Alice Roosevelt Longworth wearing a velvet shift dyed her signature color of Alice blue.  “Hey, Mona, I see that you brought Bucktooth Becky with you.”

Violet’s eyes narrowed.

The First Lady strode into the room and held out her hand to shake Mona’s.  In a high-pitched, upper class British accent favored by the East Coast aristocracy, she said, “Hello, my dear, I’m Eleanor Roosevelt.  I’m so happy to meet you.  Alice has told me of the progressive programs you have established for your workers.  I should like to discuss them.”

“It would be my honor, ma’am.”

“And who is this lovely ingénue?”

“This is my traveling companion, Violet Tate.”

Violet struggled to say something, but only a croak escaped her lips.  In her dismay, Violet curtsied.

Alice said, “Violet is Mona’s maid.”

Mona shot Alice a warning look.  “Don’t start.”

Eleanor observed Alice’s fallen face.  “Ah ha, I see what Alice has been saying about you is true.  A pistol.  A real firecracker.  Not many people would confront Alice so boldly.  She is a formidable woman and my most ardent critic, even if she is my first cousin.”  Eleanor extended her hand to Violet.  “Welcome to the White House, my dear.”

Violet squeaked, “Thank you very much, ma’am.”

The First Lady smiled.  “Save the curtsies for the British.  They love it.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Violet said, sheepishly.

“Shall we?”  Eleanor beckoned to the room behind them.  A table was set for four.  “I dislike eating in the main dining room, preferring a more intimate setting.  Besides, the dining room staff likes to eavesdrop on my conversations and report to my husband.  This way we will have more privacy.”

Not knowing if Eleanor was teasing or not, Mona nodded and said, “The table looks lovely.”

“Please sit,” Eleanor encouraged. 

All four women sat at the round dining table. 

Mona and Violet waited for the First Lady to take a sip of water before they placed their laced napkins in their laps. 

Eleanor rang a small table bell. 

“This is beautiful china,” Mona remarked, admiring a plate with a dark cobalt border framed by gilded stars on the shoulder.  She traced the presidential coat of arms raised in 24-carat gold in the center.

“Mrs. Wilson commissioned this pattern from Lenox of Trenton, New Jersey.  Over a thousand pieces were made at the cost of eleven thousand dollars.”

Mona remarked, “A fortune, indeed.”

“That’s ten dollars a plate,” Violet said, staring at her plate and now afraid to touch it. 

“Yes, indeed.  It’s because of all the gold used on the china.”

“Golly,” Violet mumbled, hardly believing she was having lunch off gold plates with three of the most famous women in the United States.  She was far from the rolling hills of the Bluegrass now.

Eleanor said, “Unfortunately, many serving pieces are missing now and most of the remaining cups and plates are chipped.  Sooner or later, I am going to have to order a new set of china, but I hate to do so during this Depression.  I feel it’s a frivolous matter, but my husband said we must keep up appearances. After all, Lincoln kept building the Capitol during the Civil War.”

“Why don’t you use my father’s presidential china?  It’s very pretty,” Alice said after telling the server she wanted a gin and tonic.

“I’ll have some iced tea, please,” Mona addressed the male server before turning her attention back to the First Lady.  

Eleanor remarked, “We have the same issue with Uncle Theodore’s china.  Chipped and missing plates and cups.”

“That’s a shame,” Alice said.  “My stepmother had excellent taste.  I thought my father’s china was the best of the lot.”

“Of course, you did, Alice,” Eleanor chided. 

Alice sniffed at Eleanor before sipping her gin and tonic.

Bowls filled with cold jellied bouillon were placed before the ladies. 

Mona tried not to shudder at the cold soup and pretended to partake.  “Mrs. Roosevelt, I must tell you how much I admire President Roosevelt’s economic policies and the work you do to improve the lives of women and working people.  I know from first-hand experience how hard it is to be something other than a teacher or a nurse if a woman wants a career.”

“Call me Eleanor, please.”

“Mona for me as well.”

“I understand you attended university, Mona.  I went to Allenswood Academy where I had wonderful teachers, but I always wished I had furthered my education.”

“I studied to become a cartographer.”

“How was it finding work, especially during the Depression?”

“I was often hired because my employer could underpay and overwork me.  There was no law to protect me.  And I had to carry a gun to protect my honor.  You do what you have to do to survive.  That’s why your work on behalf of women is so important.”

Eleanor leaned back in her chair and fiddled with her napkin.  “My dear, I appreciate the vote of confidence.  One of my husband’s goals is to raise the standard of living for women, but you wouldn’t believe the criticism the President has had to endure, even from within his own family.”  She shot a look at Alice.  “Remember that it has only been fourteen years since women won the right to vote.  Unfortunately, there are many in both parties who would like to see the 19th Amendment rolled back.”

Mona said, “I think the key to get this country back on its feet is getting people back to work, but it’s hard to find reliable help if much of the work force is undernourished and illiterate.  That’s why I have educational and nutritional programs for my employees.  I followed Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal philosophy in my own corporation and it has worked.”

Alice leaned back in her chair and took out a cigarette from a silver case and tapped its end on the table.  “I’m sorry, but I think all these handouts this administration is giving out will only weaken the country.  A man should rise up on his own merit.  That’s not even talking about the national debt Franklin’s programs are costing the American people.  Who is going to pay for all these programs?”

Not wishing to create discord by criticizing Alice, Mona thought, spoken by a woman who has always been wealthy and has never missed a meal in her life.

Ignoring Alice, Eleanor said to Mona and Violet, “There’s so much work to be done.  Right now, we are having enormous difficulties, helping farmers in the Midwest.  These dust storms are tearing the land apart.  No more topsoil.  We are getting reports of people dying from what the doctors refer to as ‘dust pneumonia.’  People’s lungs fill up with dust, and they can’t breathe. It’s just dreadful.  Franklin has been meeting with all sorts of agriculture experts seeking recommendations.”

“Kentucky’s skies have been hazy for months,” Violet said, nodding to the server taking away her unconsumed soup.

“Exactly,” Eleanor said.  “The Dust Bowl problem is engulfing the country and making the economic crisis worse.  That’s why I’m so interested in speaking with you, Mona.  Tell me about your programs.  Moon Enterprises is hiring more men, has had no strikes in the past eighteen months, and is making a profit.”

“Like I was saying, Moon Enterprises is following the philosophy of the Roosevelt administration. When my uncle made me his heir, I discovered that Moon Enterprises had been mismanaged.  We had a high accident rate and morale was very low.  We upgraded much of our mining equipment, instituted safety guidelines, and paid above other mining companies.”

“Sounds expensive,” Alice remarked.

“It is and we are still paying off loans for the upgrade.  But as you say, ma’am, we are making a profit this year.”

“Once the unions come in, there will be strife and violence.  Mark my words,” Alice said, looking askance at the salmon salad and bread & butter sandwiches placed before her.

“I understand the concern about unions, but I also see the need for them,” Mona said.

Alice harrumped.  “Unions are nothing more than fronts for communism to gain ground in our country.” 

Ignoring Alice, Mona continued.  “As for Moon Manor, it was discovered that many of our employees could not read nor write, so we have literacy classes after work hours.”

Violet offered, “I got my high school diploma in one of Miss Moon’s programs.”

Eleanor asked, “Will you employ these ideas for your fiancé’s estate?  I understand you and Lord Farley are to be married.”

“Lord Farley is in New York right now arranging passage for us.  We want his father to meet me before we officially announce our engagement.  Let’s say we have an understanding.”  

“I don’t see an engagement ring,” Alice commented, glancing at Mona’s left hand.

Mona said, “I have one, but I will not be wearing it until the engagement is officially announced.”

Putting down the unlit cigarette and picking up a bread & butter sandwich, Alice said, “You’ll never get the old man’s approval, my dear, unless a dowry is produced.  Your family is not high enough in the pecking order.”

“I’ll be gobsmacked,” protested Violet, shocked at Alice’s insult.

“Oh, I don’t mean to be unkind, dear,” Alice said.  “But if Robert Farley’s father approves of this union, your life will change dramatically.  You will be expected to plunk down a great deal of American money into the old man’s estate.  The English are always desperate for American cash.  The fact that you are rich is in your favor, at least.”

“Oh, Alice, you are such gloom and doom,” Eleanor said.

Now stabbing at her salad, Alice said, “Doesn’t mean I am wrong though.  You should have seen all of our ‘British cousins’ come out of the woodwork when I became of marriage age.  They were simply ghastly.  Mark my words, Mona.  Hold tight onto your pocket book.”

Mona started to respond, but Alice interrupted her. 

“Speaking of the British, it seems that the Prince of Wales has a new mistress.”

“How would you know, Alice?” Eleanor asked.

“It seems the American Lady Furness has been replaced by another Yank named Wallis Simpson.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Huh, I see from your face, Eleanor, you didn’t know.”

“Again, Alice, how did you gain that information?”

“Read it from an intelligence report.”

Eleanor shook her head.  “I must tell Franklin to hide those reports when you are in the White House.  You know those are for the President’s eyes only.”

“Then Franklin shouldn’t be leaving those files on his desk,” Alice said, now lighting up her cigarette.

“Are you going to get married here or across the pond?” Eleanor asked, beckoning to the server for more water.

“We haven’t decided yet,” Mona answered.  Anxious to change the subject, she redirected the conversation.  “Mrs. Roosevelt, I mean Eleanor, it was very kind of you to ask us to lunch.”

“I have an ulterior motive.  I wanted to see what kind of woman you were.  Alice told me how you solved a murder in Lexington.  She was impressed, and Alice is hardly impressed by anyone.  She thought we should meet.  One thing about my cousin is that she is politically astute.  Oh, I know she has the tongue of a viper, but she has one of the sharpest minds in Washington.”

“Thanks, cuz,” Alice mumbled, now sipping a Bloody Mary.

“Alice knows her way around Washington and hears everything.  One thing we need to rebuild this country is dependable supplies of copper.”

Alice said, “That’s true.  Congressmen talk to me all the time about the need for metals like tin and copper.”

“So you see, I needed to meet you and hear your views on things.  One of my jobs as First Lady is to make friends with those who can help bring this country out of this economic mire.  I hope you understand, my dear.”  

“I will try to help whenever possible.  I love my country.”

Eleanor said, “If things go south in Europe, the United States might be called upon to rise to the occasion.  We must be ready if that happens.”

“Public polls say the American people want to stay out of Europe’s affairs and for them to stay out of ours,” Alice said.

Before Eleanor could respond, a secretary entered the room.  “Very sorry to intrude, but you have a meeting in ten minutes, Mrs. Roosevelt.”

Eleanor looked at her wrist watch.  “So I do.  It was wonderful to meet you and Violet.”  As she stood, so did Mona and Violet.  Alice remained seated, blowing smoke donut holes into the air.

The First Lady clasped Mona’s hands.  “I wish you a beautiful wedding and hope to meet you again soon.”

“Thank you.  I look forward to speaking with you again.”

Eleanor turned to Violet.  “Violet!  You be a good girl now.  Don’t stop at a high school diploma.  Get some college accreditations under your belt.  Education is the best gift a woman can give to herself.”

“Spoken by a woman who was privately tutored all her life,” Alice murmured.

“Ignore my cousin.  She knows not of what she speaks.”

“Yes, Mrs. Roosevelt.”  Violet couldn’t bring herself to call the First Lady Eleanor.

“Do you have a beau?”

“No, ma’am.”

“That’s good.  Learn all you can before you get married.  You need pluck and knowledge to engage in this world.  Life is not always kind.  Continue with your learning.”

“I will.  Thank you, ma’am.”

“Ladies, duty calls, but feel free to stay as long as you wish and enjoy your lunch.”

Mona and Violet said in unison.  “Thank you.”  After Eleanor left, both Mona and Violet sat back down. 

The server poured water in their glasses.  “Ladies, tea and coffee are on the buffet as well as more sandwiches.  Please ring the bell if you need anything.  I’ll be waiting outside the door to escort you to the main entrance when ready.”

“Thank you,” Mona replied, folding her napkin and waiting for the server to exit.  She leaned back in her chair.

“Well,” Violet said.  “Mrs. Roosevelt is a very impressive woman.”

“Yes, she is,” replied Alice.  “But she doesn’t know a damn thing about food.  Wasn’t this lunch just awful?”

Mona burst out laughing, nodding her head.  “Well, at least the bread crusts were cut off.”

“Hush,” Violet admonished, looking about.  “The servants will hear us.”

“You’re quite right, Bucktooth Becky.  We should leave so we can criticize without any hindrance.”

Violet frowned.  “Mrs. Longworth, I wish you’d quit calling me that.  I do not have buck teeth, and my name is Violet, not Becky.”

Alice leaned forward and peered at Violet.  “Are you sure you don’t have buck teeth?”

Mona interceded.  “Violet, Mrs. Longworth is having you on.  Pay her no heed.  I certainly don’t.”

“I don’t like to be teased.”

“You don’t?  I used to be teased by my brothers quite a bit in this very home.”  Alice sighed.  “Those were the glory days when my father was president.”

Not wishing to hear another Theodore Roosevelt story, Mona rose.  “Shall we go?”

“Yes, we should leave this domicile of austerity.  Not like when my father was president.  Only the best would do.  He would have thrown this lunch out the window in a fit of pique and fired the cook. You know it is Henrietta Nesbitt’s fault.”

Violet asked, “Who is Henrietta Nesbitt?”

“She’s a witch Eleanor hired, and she plans these horrid meals for five and ten cents a go.  The recipes are even printed in magazines and the papers.  We’d have better fare at the nearest soup kitchen.”

Mona said, “Mrs. Roosevelt is only trying to help women economize their food budgets with nutritious meals at a very low cost.  I admire her for following her own guidelines.”

Alice looked smug.  “Oh really?  Did you enjoy your lunch, Mona?  I noticed you didn’t eat very much.”

Mona sheepishly grinned.  “No comment.”

“I thought so.  Hey, where are you two staying?”

 Mona replied, “The Willard.”

“Excellent.  We’ll take my car and have a proper lunch.”

“I have my own car,” Mona explained.

“That’s even better.  I really came by taxi, so you can drive all three of us back to the Willard.”  Alice rose.  “Come on, girls.  Let’s get the lead out.”

Mona and Violet exchanged glances before following Alice out.


Chapter Two

Mona, Alice, and Violet entered the palatial lobby of the Willard Hotel and headed for the dining room.  Mona was starving as she had been too nervous to eat breakfast and only picked at her lunch.  Once seated, Mona ordered the fillet of sole with fresh asparagus while Alice decided upon braised beef with noodles, and Violet wanted the fried cornmeal mush with bacon.

“You can take the girl out of the South, but not the South out of the girl,” Alice mumbled.

“Did I order wrong?” Violet asked.

Alice remarked, “Cornmeal is a lunch for a sharecropper.”

“Then why does this fancy hotel have fried cornmeal on its lunch menu if it is so low-down common?” Violet replied, heatedly.

“Because we have a lot of sharecroppers in Congress.  That’s not saying much for this country.”

“You could learn a lot from a sharecropper,” Violet snapped.

“I doubt it,” Alice replied.

Mona smiled.  She was proud of the way Violet was learning to stand up for herself, and Alice Roosevelt Longworth was a formidable opponent.  If Violet could take on Alice, she could stand up to anyone.

“I suppose Mona is paying for our lunch, so why not order the most expensive item on the menu like real meat.  Get the fish or the beef.  Order a steak even,” Alice said.

“Am I paying for your lunch, Alice?” Mona teased.  “Didn’t realize that.”

Violet said, “I like fried cornmeal, and that’s what I want.”

Alice raised an eyebrow.  “Okay.  Okay.  Just trying to broaden your horizons.”

“Noted,” Violet said, coolly.

Mona ordered a pink champagne cocktail while observing a young, handsome man two tables away reading The Washington Herald, but obviously listening to their conversation.  He was wearing a beautifully tailored black suit with a silver pocket watch chain hanging from his waistcoat.  She decided not to cause a fuss, because people always tried to listen in when they recognized Alice Longworth.  Mona thought nothing more about the gauche young man.  After she married Robert, she was going to have to get used to living in a goldfish bowl.

“A bit early for you, isn’t it?” Alice said, sipping on another gin and tonic, which was her third cocktail of the day.

“I feel like celebrating.  It’s not every day someone meets the First Lady of the United States.”

“May I order a cocktail, Miss Mona?” Violet asked.

“NO!” both Mona and Alice chorused together.

“Girls my age are getting married, let alone having a drink,” Violet insisted.

“You’re too young to drink or get married, Violet,” Mona said.  “Wait until you’re twenty-one.”

“But you drank at eighteen, Mrs. Longworth.”

“Yeah, I did, Violet, and look how I turned out,” Alice laughed.

Both Mona and Violet joined in.

Alice said to Violet, “I know you think I’m a horrible old prune, but I’m telling you the truth when I tell you to cherish these years and don’t be in a hurry to grow up.  Don’t rush donning a black velvet gown with pearls that a matron would wear.  Be a girl as long as you can.  And be very careful whom you marry, Violet.  I thought I had married the man of my dreams only to come home from visiting my family to find some other woman’s bloomers dangling from the bedroom chandelier.”

“Oh, my,” Violet gasped, her face turning pink.  She thought for a moment before asking, “What do you think of Lord Farley?”

“Violet!” exclaimed Mona.  “Such a question.”

Alice stared at Mona.  “I think with a little bit of luck, Mona and Robert should have a happy marriage.  Oh, yes, Violet, luck plays into a good marriage.”

“At least, you didn’t say we were wrong for each other,” Mona said, buttering a roll.  She sank her teeth into the yeasty bread.  “Oh, goodness, this is heaven.  I could fill up on these rolls alone.”

“What the devil is all that noise?” Alice asked, turning around in her seat toward the dining room entrance. 

Shouting and whistle blowing came from the hotel lobby.  Several Congressmen, who were lunching, stood and motioned for their wives to move behind them.  Violence was not unheard of in Washington, D.C.

“Some sort of serious commotion that’s for sure,” Mona said, grabbing her purse where her trusty revolver was stashed.

“What’s happening?” Violet asked, twisting in her chair as well. 

A man, with pomaded black hair and no hat, burst into the dining room followed by two men.  “STOP OR I’LL SHOOT!” yelled one of the pursuing men.

The fleeing man stopped, looked about, and seeing two more men come through the kitchen door into the dining room, ran for a window with his arms covering his head.

The man with the gun, fired two shots as Mona, Alice, and Violet ducked under their table.

 The shots missed and the running man jumped through a closed window spraying broken glass over the dining room guests as women screamed.  Mona and Alice jumped up and ran to another window.  They saw the black-haired man lying prostrate on the pavement outside the hotel.  He was not moving.

“Looks like he’s been cut to ribbons from the glass,” Mona said.  “We should get a doctor.”

Alice grabbed Mona’s arm.  “Don’t get involved, Mona.”  She pointed to the four men now outside inspecting the injured man.  A car pulled up, and the four men lifted the injured man and put him inside the car.  As the car drove off, the four men reentered the hotel. 

“I’m going to give those men a piece of my mind,” Mona said, heatedly.  “Shooting in a room full of innocents.  Well, that kind of thing is simply not done.”

Alice cautioned, “Mona, listen to me.  Those men were G-men.”

“You mean they were FBI?”

“Exactly.  If for some reason, they want to interview you, only respond with a yes or no.  Don’t volunteer information.  You don’t want to come under Hoover’s scrutiny.  He’s one of the most powerful men in Washington.”

“Who was the man they were chasing?”

“I don’t know.  Listen, dear, lunch is over.  Have your meal sent up to your room,” Alice said, watching other rattled guests leave.

“What about you?”

“I’ll be fine, Mona.  I’m Alice Roosevelt Longworth.  No one bothers me.”  Alice kissed Mona on the cheek.  “If I don’t see you again before you leave, have a pleasant journey.  Send me a wire every so often.  I need to know what is happening with you.” 

Alice tapped on their table under which Violet was still hiding.  “Have a memorable sea voyage, Bucktooth Becky.  Say hello to King George for me.”  With that, Alice strode out of the dining room.

Mona peered under the table.  “Violet, I think the drama is over.  You can come out.”

Violet crawled out from under the table as the manager came over.  “Miss, the dining room will be closed until further notice. We need to replace the window and clean.  Hopefully, we will be open for dinner.  I want to apologize for this unfortunate incident.”

“Is the kitchen closed?” Violet asked.

“No, miss.  Shall I send your meals to your rooms?”

“That would be wonderful,” Mona replied.  “We are Miss Moon and Miss Violet in Suite 204.”

“I’m afraid there has been a mishap on the second floor.  You have been moved to a larger suite on the fourth floor.”

Irritated, Mona said, “This is most unusual.  I don’t like strangers going through my things.”

“I completely understand, but I’m afraid it cannot be helped.  The entire second floor has been cordoned off until further notice.  We have assigned a butler and a maid to help you with the transition.  They have been with the Willard for many years and are trustworthy.”

“Who was the man that jumped out of the window?” Mona asked.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss the incident.  I’m very sorry.”   

Mona sighed.  “I see.  Very well then.  May we have our keys to the suite?”

“You will find Mr. Hammond waiting for you in your suite.  He will serve your lunch, and he also has your keys.  It is Suite 432.”

“Who else has keys to our suite?”

“Both Mr. Hammond and the maid have pass keys.  And our office keeps another key in case of an emergency.”  He motioned to a bell boy.  “Jason will escort you to your new suite.”

“No thank you.  We can find it on our own.  Come Violet.”

Giving a fleeting embarrassed smile at the manager, Violet hurried to join Mona, who was quickly leaving the dining room.  “What is going on, Miss Mona?  Are we going to take the suite?”

“I don’t know, but I think I’ll put in a call to Robert.”  She looked at her watch.  “He should know about this incident.  I’ll call this afternoon.  Violet, I think we should move to a new hotel tomorrow.”

“I can pack our steamer trunks tonight.”

Mona and Violet found their new suite quickly, and just as the manager had promised, lunch was waiting for them on a lace-covered table with white porcelain china encircled by a gold rim with sterling silver serving ware.

Lunch was delicious!

MURDER UNDER A Full MOON



Series
: A Mona Moon Mystery, Book 7

Publisher: Worker Bee Press
Genre: Mystery
Length: TBD
Lightning Source ISBN: 978-1953478047
Amazon Paperback ISBN: 979-8518037625

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