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Murder At Mosquito Cove


Sixteen-year-old Elfreda Pike of Mosquito Cove was murdered early in January of 1870.

On January 6th John Flannery — at fourteen, a youngster himself — discovered her body behind a blood-soaked boulder among the alders bordering Featherbed Road.

Featherbed Road!

You can imagine the immediate effects of Elfreda’s murder: grief and horror overwhelming her family; shock and disbelief spreading through the communities of Mosquito Cove and nearby Harbour Grace; an invasive, yet necessary, police investigation probing into the lives of the dead girl’s family, friends, and townsfolk who had known her since birth.

Following routine, the police — the Terra Nova Constabulary — begin identifying suspects. Number one on their list is Thomas Pike [no relation], Elfreda’s acknowledged, but now spurned, beau. Also topping the list is Elfreda’s brother-in-law Ray Thomey who shortly before his marriage to Elfreda’s sister Harriet was caught kissing Elfreda in the stable loft. A less recognizable suspect is a mysterious man in a long black coat who was seen walking Featherbed Road with Elfreda shortly before she was killed.

Plenty of dandy ingredients for a crackerjack murder/mystery yarn, eh b’ys?

Sure it is.

In Murder at Mosquito Cove [DRC Publishing] Pat Collins has taken the actual murder of Elfreda Pike and spun a based-on-facts story around it. And, to say the least, he has done an admirable job of creating believable characters and situations that trace the aftermath of Elfreda’s murder into the twentieth century.

You know there’s intrigue and adventure. Consider the young policeman casting a romantic eye [?] on a key female witness. Consider the suspect stowed away on the Eagle when it sails from Harbour Grace to Barbados, or wherever it was in the Caribbean that Newfoundland ships hauled…well, West Indy saltfish.

Not really getting off track…but many Newfoundlanders have relatives up in The States, particularly — and historically, I suppose — in the Boston area. Likely I’ve mentioned before that I suspect I have a distant cousin Barbara who comes from Boston.

Parts of Murder at Mosquito Cove are set in The States.

Matthew Parsons [Ha, Ha. You’ll have to read the book to see how he fits into the story.] ends up working on construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, for instance.

And, b’ys, does he ever have a dangerous job.

He and a crew of Irish immigrants work inside the caissons that become a major part of the bridge’s underwater pillars as I understand it.

I fancy a caisson was like a humongous upside-down galvanized water bucket with sheet metal walls and a wooden bottom. The work crew climbed inside the bucket and it was sunk to the bottom of the East River. Then air was pumped into the bucket while the workers beat out the wooden bottom and — don’t ask me how — fastened the bucket’s rim to subterranean bedrock.

That kind of job invites accidents, eh b’ys?

Oddly though — and I don’t think I’m giving spoiler information — the accident that occurs doesn’t involve water flooding a caisson. It involves the element that, shortly after Noah moored the Ark, God promised He’d use to punish Man…next time.

Meanwhile — so to speak — back in Harbour Grace, some of the populace is in an uproar because the police haven’t arrested anyone for killing Elfreda. Incipient lynch mobs    are demanding that someone hang, fair trial or no. Vigilantes prowl the streets, torches in hand.

I don’t want to analyze timelines and plotlines and the like. You can sort out all that stuff when you read the book.

I’d rather talk about Daniel Boone.

I got sidetracked on page 186. The author mentions that Joseph Pike, now living up in The States, had sent his father a Kentucky rifle, a muzzle-loader with a 48 inch barrel.

A Kentucky Rifle!

Daniel Boone toted a Kentucky rifle — that he may, or may not, have called Ol’ Bess — when he crossed the Cumberland Gap into the western wilderness. He lost his rifle at the Battle of Blue Licks when a band of Shawnee laid some whoop-ass on Boone and his buddies and absconded with his gun.

Pat, I have to ask, were you reared up reading Daniel Boone comic books and watching Fess Parker on TV? Did you chipple an imitation Kentucky rifle from a slab and fight off hordes of Indians? Did you write Edward Pike’s Kentucky rifle into your book for old time’s sake — for a bit of devilment?

I’d like to know.

Oh, yes, some of you likely are wondering if Elfreda Pike’s murdered was ever apprehended.

I’m not saying. Sure, that would be telling.

Thank you for reading.

 

Harold Walters lives Happily Ever After in Dunville, in the only Canadian province with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at ghwalters663@gmail.com

 

 

On January 6th John Flannery — at fourteen, a youngster himself — discovered her body behind a blood-soaked boulder among the alders bordering Featherbed Road.

Featherbed Road!

You can imagine the immediate effects of Elfreda’s murder: grief and horror overwhelming her family; shock and disbelief spreading through the communities of Mosquito Cove and nearby Harbour Grace; an invasive, yet necessary, police investigation probing into the lives of the dead girl’s family, friends, and townsfolk who had known her since birth.

Following routine, the police — the Terra Nova Constabulary — begin identifying suspects. Number one on their list is Thomas Pike [no relation], Elfreda’s acknowledged, but now spurned, beau. Also topping the list is Elfreda’s brother-in-law Ray Thomey who shortly before his marriage to Elfreda’s sister Harriet was caught kissing Elfreda in the stable loft. A less recognizable suspect is a mysterious man in a long black coat who was seen walking Featherbed Road with Elfreda shortly before she was killed.

Plenty of dandy ingredients for a crackerjack murder/mystery yarn, eh b’ys?

Sure it is.

In Murder at Mosquito Cove [DRC Publishing] Pat Collins has taken the actual murder of Elfreda Pike and spun a based-on-facts story around it. And, to say the least, he has done an admirable job of creating believable characters and situations that trace the aftermath of Elfreda’s murder into the twentieth century.

You know there’s intrigue and adventure. Consider the young policeman casting a romantic eye [?] on a key female witness. Consider the suspect stowed away on the Eagle when it sails from Harbour Grace to Barbados, or wherever it was in the Caribbean that Newfoundland ships hauled…well, West Indy saltfish.

Not really getting off track…but many Newfoundlanders have relatives up in The States, particularly — and historically, I suppose — in the Boston area. Likely I’ve mentioned before that I suspect I have a distant cousin Barbara who comes from Boston.

Parts of Murder at Mosquito Cove are set in The States.

Matthew Parsons [Ha, Ha. You’ll have to read the book to see how he fits into the story.] ends up working on construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, for instance.

And, b’ys, does he ever have a dangerous job.

He and a crew of Irish immigrants work inside the caissons that become a major part of the bridge’s underwater pillars as I understand it.

I fancy a caisson was like a humongous upside-down galvanized water bucket with sheet metal walls and a wooden bottom. The work crew climbed inside the bucket and it was sunk to the bottom of the East River. Then air was pumped into the bucket while the workers beat out the wooden bottom and — don’t ask me how — fastened the bucket’s rim to subterranean bedrock.

That kind of job invites accidents, eh b’ys?

Oddly though — and I don’t think I’m giving spoiler information — the accident that occurs doesn’t involve water flooding a caisson. It involves the element that, shortly after Noah moored the Ark, God promised He’d use to punish Man…next time.

Meanwhile — so to speak — back in Harbour Grace, some of the populace is in an uproar because the police haven’t arrested anyone for killing Elfreda. Incipient lynch mobs    are demanding that someone hang, fair trial or no. Vigilantes prowl the streets, torches in hand.

I don’t want to analyze timelines and plotlines and the like. You can sort out all that stuff when you read the book.

I’d rather talk about Daniel Boone.

I got sidetracked on page 186. The author mentions that Joseph Pike, now living up in The States, had sent his father a Kentucky rifle, a muzzle-loader with a 48 inch barrel.

A Kentucky Rifle!

Daniel Boone toted a Kentucky rifle — that he may, or may not, have called Ol’ Bess — when he crossed the Cumberland Gap into the western wilderness. He lost his rifle at the Battle of Blue Licks when a band of Shawnee laid some whoop-ass on Boone and his buddies and absconded with his gun.

Pat, I have to ask, were you reared up reading Daniel Boone comic books and watching Fess Parker on TV? Did you chipple an imitation Kentucky rifle from a slab and fight off hordes of Indians? Did you write Edward Pike’s Kentucky rifle into your book for old time’s sake — for a bit of devilment?

I’d like to know.

Oh, yes, some of you likely are wondering if Elfreda Pike’s murdered was ever apprehended.

I’m not saying. Sure, that would be telling.

Thank you for reading.

 

Harold Walters lives Happily Ever After in Dunville, in the only Canadian province with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at ghwalters663@gmail.com

 

 

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