Aboard a night train to Trondheim, Norway, international travelers discover a murder in their midst. These strangers on a train have no connection to the victim or each other, or do they?
This is the theme of my next murder mystery event, Murder Abroad, which I’m hosting at the library where I work. It ties into this year’s summer reading program theme, which is related to travel. I’ve even encouraged “passengers” to dress up in their international intrigue best.
As a teaser for the event, I included the following prologue in promotional materials:
Wrought of tempered steel. Sterling Silver. 24 Karat Gold. Hand-set ruby cabochons. Almost a foot and a half in length, the Viking dagger with its ivory pommel—finished off by a dragon’s head—lay in its display case in the antique shop.
Presently, the proprietor of the shop—in the Stroget precinct of Copenhagen—heard the familiar chime. A customer had entered. In his time, the shopkeeper had seen all sorts of tourists; one dressed in a long cloak with the hood drawn up did not alarm him. Surreptitiously he watched the cloaked visitor drift about the displays of antiques. Muskets, revolvers, swords, and other weaponry from a bygone era adorned the walls and filled the glass display cases.
The figure paused by the display of Viking weapons and accoutrements. Noticing this, the portly shopkeeper asked in English, “May I help you, sir?”
Upon receiving no response, he repeated his question in French. To his surprise, the stranger—at last—answered in the shopkeeper’s native language.
With a gloved hand, the stranger indicated a wish to purchase the Viking dagger. The shopkeeper took the dagger out of the display case and quoted its price…the equivalent of nearly one thousand dollars!
The stranger paid in cash…
A long time ago when I first plotted out several novels in my Mysteries of Syracuse series, I planned this mystery, tentatively titled Express Train to Trondheim. Inspired by an actual trip to Scandinavia, during which I took said train, I developed a basic story idea and some characters. I’ve revamped the Mysteries of Syracuse at least twice since then. Meaning that this novel will likely get cut from the line up. But it was the perfect fit for my library’s summer reading program theme, and thus it’s been somewhat resurrected.
Stay tuned for more on the development of this murder mystery event.
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