Skip to product information
1 of 1

Anthony Slayton

A Quite Deadly Affair (Ebook)

A Quite Deadly Affair (Ebook)

Regular price $0.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $0.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

A Christmas party turns deadly when a scandalous affair, suspicion of treason, and a woman scorned lead to murder in this 1920s-style whodunit.

London 1928. For Sir Edmund Ferrier, the past year has been one of hard-won triumphs. Recently appointed a cabinet minister, Sir Edmund confidently expects to be elected prime minister one day. But when his ex-lover, Mrs. Pulver, is found dead in his study, Sir Edmund soon finds his career and his life in danger—not least from his spiteful and enigmatic wife.

Sir Edmund’s secretary, Mr. Quayle, knows there’s more to Mrs. Pulver’s murder than meets the eye. Vital documents have gone missing from the ministry, and Mr. Quayle believes that Sir Edmund and Mrs. Pulver were involved. Unfortunately, the ministry has a different suspect in mind—Mr. Quayle.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Mr. Quayle sets out to catch the killer and find the missing documents. But he soon discovers that treason isn’t the only skeleton hiding in Sir Edmund’s cupboard in this classic Agatha-Christie-style whodunit.


Or you can find it on all retailers HERE in ebook.


Ebooks are delivered instantly by link in your confirmation email (and as a backup, also by email from our delivery partner, Bookfunnel).


You can read the ebooks on any ereader (Amazon, Kobo, Nook), your tablet, phone, computer, and/or in the free Bookfunnel app.


Chapter 1. A Most Inconvenient Corpse

Mrs. Pulver was dead. That fact was incontrovertible, obvious even at a glance, and highly—one might even say fatally—inconvenient. Mr. Quayle had found her only a few moments before, and his thoughts had been whirring ever since. When he had snuck into Sir Edmund Ferrier’s study, this was not what he had expected to find—not even remotely.

After a brief deliberation, Mr. Quayle bent down slowly, careful not to touch the body. He was wearing gloves, of course, but they were white and likely to show even the slightest telltale speck of blood. And there was a great deal of blood. It pooled out from under her, almost black in the dim light. 

Mr. Quayle examined her closely, noting everything with a rusty but practiced eye. He had seen more than his share of horrors on the battlefield, but that was nearly ten years ago now, and he felt his innards clench slightly at the sight of her.

Mrs. Pulver had been stabbed at least twice in the chest, and the blade was still there, lodged in deep between her ribs. Mr. Quayle recognized it as one of Sir Edmund’s set of silver-plated letter openers—a gift from his wife. 

Mr. Quayle tried not to read too much into the choice of murder weapon. Earlier this evening, when discussing business with Sir Edmund, Quayle had seen the letter opener sitting innocently on the desk. So, it was likely that it had simply been convenient. 

But on the other hand, there were rumors swirling around Whitehall—rumors about Sir Edmund and Mrs. Pulver. And, in that light, the choice of Lady Ferrier’s letter opener was, at the very least, suggestive, as was Mrs. Pulver’s presence here.  

Mr. Quayle frowned. Like him, she had been invited to Sir Edmund’s Christmas Party. And like him, she most certainly should not have been up here in the study. Mr. Quayle knew why he was there, of course, but why was she?
He glanced around the room thoughtfully. Sir Edmund Ferrier was a member of the House of Commons and had recently been appointed a junior foreign minister. It was a prestigious posting but one which was regarded, both by himself and others, as merely the first steppingstone in what promised to be a long and distinguished career.

The guests downstairs certainly thought so, and they had flocked eagerly to his London home, deliberately overlooking Mrs. Pulver’s presence. They were men and women of the world, after all, and if Sir Edmund saw fit to invite his mistress to the party, then that was between the two of them and his wife.

There was another storm lurking on the horizon, however, one which would have kept them all away if they had but known. One that was far more dangerous. Politicians were allowed their little peccadilloes—within reason, of course—but treason was another matter entirely.

Over the past few months, a number of highly classified documents had gone missing from the Ministry. Naturally, the thefts had been swept under the carpet, but after careful investigation, suspicions had narrowed to two possible suspects. One was Sir Edmund Ferrier. And the other was his principal private secretary—Mr. Quayle. 
He shuddered. Murder and treason both carried the highest of penalties, and if found guilty, Mr. Quayle was now in very real danger of being hung by the neck until dead. 

Like the thefts themselves, of course, the investigation had been kept relatively quiet, but it was only a matter of time before they came to light. And in situations such as this, mere suspicion was often enough to do the work of truth. More than one career had been ruined with far, far less cause. 

Mr. Quayle stood hesitantly. He had originally snuck into the study to search for the offending documents and prove—once and for all—that Sir Edmund was the thief and not him. But he had barely managed to start before he stumbled over Mrs. Pulver, and that left Quayle in a distinctly precarious position. 

He had at least possessed the foresight to wear gloves, so there would be no incriminating fingerprints, but the question remained—what should he do now?
The search would have to be abandoned, that much had been obvious from the beginning, but Mr. Quayle wondered briefly if it might be best to let someone else discover the body and thereby remove himself as far as possible from the scene of the crime. 

But here, his efficiency and preparation worked against him. Mr. Quayle had already laid the groundwork for his little search, deliberately mislaying his cigarette case in the study earlier and then making a show of looking for it. That was to have been his alibi if anyone had caught him in the study, but now it left him in something of a bind. Too many people knew he had headed upstairs. 

No! He shook his head. In the long run, it would be simpler to stick to the truth as much as possible. The police would be prying through everyone’s movements with a fine-toothed comb, but they would know nothing of the stolen papers. Whoever the Ministry sent to keep an eye on things, however, would likely prove a different matter. He pondered that for a moment while his hands moved to straighten out the desk and remove any lingering signs of his aborted search. 

If he was to avoid the noose, then—

Mr. Quayle turned suddenly. All thoughts of the police or the Ministry vanished in the face of a single, undeniable fact—he was not alone. 

It had only been the slightest, barest hint of a noise, but Mr. Quayle’s ears were sharp and well-practiced. It had been years since he had last found himself in an ambush—or indeed a fight of any kind—but his senses still remembered. 

He was unarmed, of course, but the killer—assuming that the intruder was the killer—had left the murder weapon embedded in Mrs. Pulver’s chest, so there was a chance that he or she was unarmed as well.

Mr. Quayle rose to his feet warily, his eyes searching in the dark. There! For a moment, he thought he caught a glimpse of someone along the far wall, half-hidden between the bookcases, but the closer Quayle looked, the more he thought it was only a shadow—the mind playing tricks.

Suddenly, a gust of wind rustled the curtains, and when Mr. Quayle turned to investigate, the intruder seized their chance. Erupting from where they’d hidden themselves, crouched behind the settee, they made a mad, desperate dash for the door.

Whirling back, Mr. Quayle only had time to catch the barest hint of a figure, black against the shadows, and then they were gone., leaving him alone again with the body. Mr. Quayle was not, generally speaking, a man given to cursing, but he cursed now—albeit quietly. 

This was really, really not his day.

View full details