Banker Hector Jones hires detective Daniel Price to get the goods on his young wife’s free-loading relatives on the July 4th weekend in 1898 in “The Barn Door,” a prequel short story to Juliet Kincaid’s cozy historical calendar mystery novels and stories. After solving the case, Daniel Price, still in disguise as a traveling salesman, wanders over to the fairgrounds and . . .
A banner drooping between two posts at the corner of a baseball field across the street announced that Kansas City would play Omaha in Exposition Park at 3. Many tents and pavilions, most marked with red, white, and blue bunting, stood inside the oval fence of the racetrack between the ball field and the ruined Exposition Hall. Fiddle music came from somewhere.
Perfect, Daniel thought. Again clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth, he urged the mare across the street. Just as he stopped the wagon at the curb close by the picnic area, a little girl ran up.
She wore a white dress and a wide white bow in her blond hair, not the white blond of Mrs. Jones and her family, but a golden, honey blond. Once the child read the words printed on the side of the Wabash wagon, she turned around and ran away again. “Minty! Minty!” she shouted as she disappeared into the crowd among the tents.
Minty? Daniel thought. Why is that little girl saying that?
Soon the child returned, holding the hand of a woman wearing a wide-brimmed hat, white shirtwaist and skirt. “Pretty please, Minty,” the little girl said. “Will you buy me something from the Wabash Man?”
“I might,” the woman said.
I guess that female is called Minty, Daniel thought as the woman and the little girl came up to the wagon.
Daniel jumped down from the wagon, swept off his straw boater, and bowed. “How do you do, miss?”
When the woman got close, she lifted her head, and stared at him out from the brim of her hat. She had beautiful amber eyes, and she was young and so very pretty that Daniel momentarily forgot that he was supposed to be extolling Wabash soap for its cleansing quality. “I beg your pardon for asking, miss, but is your name Minty?”
“Why, yes it is,” she said.
“That’s a very unusual name. May I ask how you came to have it?”
Five Star review of “The Barn Door” from Amazon reviewer
“If you have never read any of Juliet Kincaid’s calendar mysteries you are missing out. This short prequel story to the first book, January Jinx, is fun and introduces us to the two main characters, Daniel and Minty, before they actually meet. I especially like the descriptions of Kansas City in the 1900’s as well as the vivid descriptions of the characters. Read ‘The Barn Door’ and you will not be disappointed.”
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On July 5, 1898, a future career as a business girl as a typist/stenographer weighs heavily on Minty Wilcox’s mind. But distractions ensue when her sourpuss spinster neighbor lays abuse on Minty’s kid brother, sister, and a lost dog. Her mother’s disapproval and several flirtatious gents don’t help Minty in reaching her goal in “Lost Dog,” a prequel story to Juliet Kincaid’s Calendar Mysteries. After Minty solves the case, she and her younger sister walk home from downtown Kansas City and . . .
As they walked along Ninth Street, Peach said, “When I grow up, I’m going to marry one of those streetcar men.”
“Well, Peach,” Minty said. “That’s a long time from now. You’ll change your mind many times before you get married.”
“Okay,” Peach said. They walked along in silence a little longer before Peach said. “You know, Minty. Those streetcar men weren’t nearly as handsome as the Wabash Man. Maybe I’ll marry him instead.”
“The Wabash Man?” Minty said. “Oh yes, the traveling salesman we met yesterday.” She smiled as she recalled the man’s bold dark eyes. She probably shouldn’t give him a second thought because chances were good she’d never see him again. Besides, as the business girl she intended on becoming, she didn’t plan on ever getting married. But still she said, “Not if I get him first, little sister.”
Five-Star Review from an Amazon reviewer
“What a delight to find myself in ‘old’ Kansas City again with such wonderfully drawn characters. I feel I know them and would love to follow them along the street while looking for the lost dog’s owner and I could just push that old neighbor back into the bushes after rescuing the poor dog from her vicious beating. Oh, this author brings them so alive and that is what keeps me reading her stories.”
Juliet Kincaid’s cozy historical mystery novels and stories tell the story of business girl Minty Wilcox and dashing detective Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago. “The Barn Door” is FREE for the 2020 Fourth of July weekend at www.amazon.com/dp/B073G7ZXMP and “Lost Dog” is also FREE: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0752SWBG1