Eric Reed is the not-so-secret pen name of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer, adopted to distinguish their new WW2 mysteries from their long-running John, Lord Chamberlain Byzantine mystery series, the eleventh entry in which, Murder In Megara, appeared in 2015. They have been writing together since 1992 and also co-author short stories. The most recent, Time’s Revenge, was published in March 2017 in Bound By Mystery, a collection of over thirty stories by Poisoned Pen Press authors celebrating the publishers’ 20th anniversary.
Author Name: Eric Reed
Book Title: Ruined Stones
Book Genre: World War Two mystery
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Synopsis: Women’s Police Auxilliary Corps Constable Grace Baxter moves to Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1941. The city’s bone-numbing cold, fogs, and constant threat of bombing, as well as the peculiar behavior of some residents, test her resolve to be an effective officer. What role do ancient rituals play in murder and what follows? Her investigation must continue despite the blackout, fear, and the hostility of her male colleagues. Will it also endanger her life?
Excerpt: She tried to put doubts out of her mind. She crossed her arms and hunched her shoulders, attempting to keep warm. A chill drizzle, not quite fog, not quite rain, flled the grey metallic air. She might have been back in Noddweir, standing in the middle of the stone circle on the summit of Guardians Hill. The remains of the temple walls, half hidden by tall grass, were like the smaller, overgrown boulders in the circle. The pair of four foot or so high altars resembled the larger stones.
The place gave her the same shivery sensation she received from Noddweir’s stone circle. The ancient rocks still breathed out the past and caught within their compass, like a wasp in amber, was something unthinkably old and powerful. Did everyone feel this? The Romans who built the temple must have. Or was it simply her overactive imagination? As she turned to look around, a cold droplet fell from the brim of her hat and hit the back of her hand, startling her out of her musings. Surely it was only coincidence that her first official investigation should, like her frst unofficial one, involve an ancient pagan ruin. She needed to be concentrating on her new job, not daydreaming about the countryside and her old life. By contrast, fogs here were sulfurous, thick and oppressive, not the white, gentle blankets common to the countryside.
She could imagine the fog was smoke from the fires of a Roman encampment on the furthest border of the empire. Here civilization took its stand against the savagery beyond. Even as today the line was drawn here, Britain standing almost alone against Nazi savagery. For an instant ghostly walls rose around her and she sensed murmurous words she could not understand. She shook herself free of the illusion. Certainly it was nothing but an illusion. She needed to examine the site of what Baines had described as “the incident.”
Mary and Eric’s website is at http://home.earthlink.net/~maywrite/