Duty, Honor, Murder
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by Pamela Cummings
Category: Historical Fiction/Romance
Description: When duty and honor at nineteenth-century West Point Academy collide with murder, it's a who-dun-it that challenges even the Superintendent of the military school--Colonel Robert E. Lee. When newest instructor, Second Lieutenant Garet Morgan, returns to the military academy three years after graduating from its hallowed halls, he is unprepared for his teaching post to become far more than routine duty. Conducting an outdoor class on the banks of the Hudson River, Morgan and his students find the corpse of engineering professor, Captain Edgwick, floating in icy water. The fact that the unlikable Edgwick had enemies throughout the institution does not help Morgan when he learns his honor is being questioned. He has become the crime's chief suspect. Not even the redoubtable Superintendent, Robert E. Lee, appears close to finding the killer. In an effort to clear his own name, Morgan teams up with an unlikely pair--a fellow-suspect and cadet, and Lee's visiting second cousin, Elizabeth--to solve the mystery. But Morgan's investigation is about to take an unexpected turn, and it has to do with far more than murder as sparks fly between him and the beautiful, unconventional Elizabeth.
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2003
eBookwise Release Date: August 2005
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [407 KB]
Reading time: 279-391 min.
"4 1/2 Hearts! ... A wonderful read. It's a mixture of history, romance, mystery and suspense written by an evidently very talented author. Her secondary characters lend as much to the story as do the hero and heroine, and the story is impressively detail-oriented. This is the second book that I've read by Ms. Cummings and I didn't think she could outdo herself, but she did. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first, I almost didn't volunteer to review this one solely because the title was not something I would normally read. I'm pleased that I did because I would have missed out on a fabulous book. It's true, you can't tell a book by its cover!"--Brett Scott, The Romance Studio
Second Lieutenant Garet Morgan took a deep breath and opened the door to the outer office of the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The last time he'd entered the office he'd been a First Class Cadet, ready to accept his commission. Now, three and a half years after graduating with the Class of '49, he walked in as an instructor.
Behind a large oak desk directly in front of him sat Engineer Sergeant McGafferty–the first familiar face Morgan had seen since returning to the academy. The tall, lean man glanced at the door. A moment later his face lit up. He jumped to his feet and snapped off a salute, never quite managing to wipe the smile off his face. Morgan returned the salute and grinned back at the man.
"How have you been, Sergeant?" Morgan asked.
"Just fine, sir." His voice retained only a touch of a Scottish accent. "You know I didn't get a chance to salute you after you graduated, Lieutenant. I missed having that honor."
Morgan closed the door behind him and put down his overnight case. "It was a busy day."
"You don't have to tell me that, sir. I'm the busiest man on the post on graduation day."
Morgan nodded in the direction of the closed door behind the sergeant's desk. "Should I go right in to report?"
McGafferty shook his head. "Picked a bad time to show up, you did, Lieutenant. Colonel Lee's out of the office. Can't say when he'll return. You'd best come back again in a few hours."
"Shouldn't I wait for him?"
"No telling when he'll be back. It's all right, Lieutenant. You're an officer now. You're allowed to walk about the post even when the cadets are in class." Morgan frowned. Returning to the academy as an instructor wasn't as easy as he thought it might be. When he'd walked into the main academic building, he'd felt a moment's panic that classes had started and he was late. He still felt like a cadet. In fact, he still got nightmares about forgetting an examination or showing up for formation in his nightshirt.
"It just occurred to me that I can visit Benny Havens' without risk of getting kicked out of the academy."
McGafferty grinned. "That you can, sir. And their hours of serving haven't changed since you were here, either. Of course, I still wouldn't advise coming back drunk. A sore disappointment to the colonel, that would be."
"Rank hath its privileges. Are you sure there isn't someone else I should report to first?"
McGafferty shrugged. "Major Andrews is off post until tomorrow."
"Officer of the day?"
"He won't know what Colonel Lee has planned for you. No, sir, it's best if you just come back and talk to the colonel himself."
Morgan shook his head. "I remember the academy being run more strictly when I was a cadet."
"You would, sir, now wouldn't you? Everything's organized to keep the cadets under strict discipline, but you officers get a bit more leeway."
"I suppose I sound like the visitors who show up and ask why the cadets don't march everywhere."
"Aye. Don't know what those people expect. This is America, after all, not Europe with its automatons."
Copyright © 2003 by Pamela Cummings