Excerpt from Murder Under A Honey Moon

Chapter One

“Mona!  Hurry up, or we’re going to miss the boat!”

“Yes, Robert,” Mona answered her husband of just one month. He escorted her up the ship’s long ramp, slick with downpour, and showed the ship’s first officer their tickets.

“May I see some ID, please?” the officer asked, crossing a name off the manifest.

“This is bloody irregular,” Robert protested.

Three men stepped out of the shadows and flanked the officer.  One of them flashed a police badge and said, “Sorry, sir, but we insist.  We will not let you board without identification.”

Mona pushed Robert aside and took out her wallet.  She handed the men her passport, driver’s license, library card, bank ID, and membership card to the Ladies Auxiliary Club.  The men checked the name against the manifest. 

The first officer said, “Maplewood does not match any name on the manifest.”

“Now see here . . . !” Robert objected.

Mona pressed her hand against Robert’s chest.  “Remember your blood pressure, Lord Bob.”  She turned to the men looking suspiciously at her.  “I realize you must be looking for someone.  A criminal, perhaps?  I am Mona Moon and this is my husband, Robert Farley, Duke of Brynelleth.  We are traveling incognito under the name of Maplewood because we are on our honeymoon and wish to be anonymous.  We just wanted some privacy.”

“I’m not buying this,” said one of the policemen.  “Let’s detain them downtown.”

“Look,” Mona said frantically, handing them a business card.  “We just want to go to our stateroom.  You can wire my lawyer, Dexter Deatherage, at this address and phone number before the ship leaves, and he will vouch for us.  Surely, you’ve seen our name and pictures in the newspapers—Mona Moon and Robert Farley?  We are the Duke and Duchess of Brynelleth.”  Mona pointed to Robert.  “He’s in line to the throne of Great Britain.”

“Never heard of you,” one of the policemen huffed.

The first officer cautioned, “We’d better check this out.  They have one of the better staterooms on board, and it has been paid in full.  We do have passengers giving false names all the time.  It’s not unusual.”

The policeman, who seemed to be in charge, said, “Take them to their stateroom and lock them in until we verify their identities.”

“Now see here, my good man,” Robert fussed.

“It’s all right, dear.  These men are looking for a person of interest and from the sound of it—someone very dangerous.”  Mona turned to the small knot of men.  “Of course we will cooperate.  Take us to our cabin, please.”

The officer snapped his fingers, whereupon a steward led the couple to their stateroom accompanied by several lads from the ship’s security detail.

Upon entering their stateroom, Mona and Robert heard the twist of the key in the door before footsteps receded down the hallway.  They stared at each other. 

“This gets curiouser and curiouser,” Robert muttered. 

Mona looked about the suite.  “I don’t see our trunks.  They were supposed to be shipped early.  At least there is a fruit basket and flowers.  We won’t starve.”

Robert teased, “Not for several days to be sure.  We can always beg for food from passersby out the portholes.”

Mona pulled off her black wig and fluffed her platinum hair.  “I hope they have a good hairstylist onboard.  I’m going to need one.  My hair feels all smooshed.”

Pulling Mona close, Robert kissed her on the nose.  “You look ravishing to me, darling.”

“You know, Lord Bob,” Mona said, “we wanted to be alone on this trip and have managed it.  Let’s not waste time worrying about our less-than-usual boarding of this liner.  We would have locked the door—the door is locked.  Let’s not waste time, darling.”

Robert picked up Mona, who clung to his neck.  Robert leaned down and kissed her.  “That’s tickety-boo.  I want more of those sweet kisses.  Which door is the bedroom, you think?”

“Let’s try that one.”

Robert hurried over and lowered Mona, so she could turn the door knob.  Inside was a beautiful, gold and white art deco bedroom with rose petals scattered on the coverlet, a vase of red roses on the dresser, and a gold-foiled box of candy on the nightstand.  He lay Mona carefully on the bed.  “Do you need time?”

“No, darling.”  Mona reached up for Robert and pulled him to her.

They didn’t even feel the ship pull away from the dock or hear the whistles and goodbye calls from well-wishers on the dock—because they were, eh hem, occupied.

Murder under a Honey moon

Series: A Mona Moon Mystery, Book 12
Worker Bee Press
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