Bird in a Gilded Cage: The Myth of Mirabella
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by Christy Poff
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Suspense/Thriller
Description: Mira Sinclair's schedule leaves her no time for a personal life. As the owner of a highly successful international fashion magazine there is no such thing as down time, especially while she co-ordinates the life of a high profile and elite model--the mysterious Mirabella. Max Dunbar and his partner head up an international investigation into the co-incidental thefts of gold bullion and dead models--all found golden and posed, as if paying court to fashion royalty. Working as Mira's security analyst, he tries to protect her, as well as the elusive Mirabella, from the Golden Killer's threat. Can Max put an end to the serial crimes or will Mira become the next bird in a gilded cage? Will the myth of Mirabella be revealed or safe-guarded? Can Max and Mira hold onto the deeply passionate love they've found?
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: November 2007
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [221 KB]
Reading time: 135-190 min.
"Christy Poff never ceases to enthrall me with her suspenseful stories and BIRD IN A GILDED CAGE: THE MYTH OF MIRABELLA kept me captivated throughout the entire story. Mira and Mirabella could easily be one person and I was constantly wondering if they were one and the same or not. Maxwell is easy to love. His protective instincts and open and honest adoration of Mira make him the sort of man you'd want for yourself. I have to admit to a morbid fascination to each of the models deaths. There's no doubt that the murderer is diabolical in his technique and I couldn't wait to find out if Maxwell's theory proved to be correct. There are some twists and turns to this story that I hadn't anticipated and they'll keep you guessing until the last minute. I think this may well be one of Christy Poff's best stories yet so be sure to pick up a copy and experience this story for yourself."--Chrissy, Romance Junkies, 5 Ribbons!
Maxwell Dunbar dreaded answering the phone. At six foot tall, he had a gorgeous smile to go with his handsome body only the case he'd been working on had not allowed him to flash it in a very long time.
"Paris? He's gone international?"
"What about Interpol?"
"They've given you free rein. Since the previous discoveries came under American jurisdiction and you've made headway into the investigation, they've offered up their assistance. It's your case, my boy."
"Wonderful," Dunbar muttered.
"They're holding the crime scene until you get there. I've got a jet waiting at Dulles for you."
"Good. I'll be on my way as soon as I..."
"Packed for you already."
"John, I hate when you do this."
"Part of the job."
"Let me know what you find. The White House is a little edgy about this."
"I'm very aware of the situation. Fort Knox's security has been increased but after the bank theft in New York and the heist in Los Angeles ... Damn it!"
"Check this out for me and send me the date ASAP."
"Time frame between gold thefts and murders for all three ... It looks like he robs the city he leaves his calling card in. See if Paris had one also."
"You got it. Anything else?"
"On his way in from Stockholm."
"What cover do you want?"
"I think the high-priced, works for a cool million security expert. That'll get the important players coming to us."
"I'll take care of it. It'll take a day to set up, so be careful."
A few moments later, they ended the call.
Max grabbed some files, stuffing them in his attaché and left his DC office for Dulles International. Since graduation from college, he had been employed by the Treasury Department and worked his way up to the highest level--covert operations. He and his partner specialized in difficult or high-profile cases, especially ones dealing with money or precious metals. He had a magical touch in the way he operated and sometimes reported directly to the President.
He went to the airport then boarded a private jet to deGaulle International in Paris. With the possibility of having a break in the case, he'd caught a second wind. If the thefts and murders could be connected, they'd have some time after the next theft to try to put a stop to their perp but unfortunately, there would be at least one more death before the guilty party slipped up and Max arrested him. That thought ruined his day.
Once the jet settled into its flight plan, Max sat back and started to mark down similarities. With a third murder, the pattern for their serial killer began to take shape. He spread his notes out on the table in front of him and started with the first case.
Starr, the first victim, died of a gunshot wound neatly through the heart. She had been scheduled to model at a Beverly Hills show but disappeared hours before. When they received the call, it came from an upscale gun club a few blocks away and a few days later.
The secretary had signed for a delivery from an art gallery--nothing unusual. Workmen uncrated a golden statue of a beautiful woman, a Greek goddess in a sheer dress. The odd thing had been the statue wore an actual dress, not a gilded one. Regardless, no one thought it strange until one of the night cleaners touched the statue and didn't like the way it felt. He immediately called the police who responded to find the murdered model encased in gold. The gilding had completely hidden the bullet wound.
The murder had been committed after a Dutch bank in L.A. had discovered the theft of its inventory of gold bullion. The amount of the theft equaled five million dollars. The question Max kept asking--Where did they take the gold and how did they transport it?
At first, Treasury concerned itself only with the theft but, when the Los Angeles M.E. reported the gold body paint used on the murder victim had registered as pure 24K, his department took a closer look before taking over the case. In the back part of his mind, Max had unsettling thoughts. Had their perp gilded his victim after melting down the gold? If so, whoever did it needed a factory large enough to accommodate a smelting operation. He made a note of this.
Sable, the second victim, had been found hanging from a tree in the area of Central Park where Garth Brooks and Billy Joel had given their concerts. The autopsy showed she'd been hung before her gilding then quickly posed to look like an angel. She'd been dressed in a sheer dress like Starr.
When he checked, Max found a Dutch bank in New York's financial district had been robbed several days before Sable missed a show. Three days later, a young couple jogging through the area found her. He noted New York had numerous factory settings where their perp could ply his trade.
Now with Paris, the Golden Killer had gone international. When would it stop? * * * *