A Dangerous Goodbye by Fliss Chester (Fen Churche Mystery#1)
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 1.6 MB
- While war rages in Europe, Fenella Churche is doing her bit in the green fields of England. But when she finds a letter addressed to her on the scrubbed farmhouse table, she knows the news won’t be good. She hasn’t heard from her fiancé Arthur since he was posted to France on a dangerous undercover mission, and from his very first words she knows he may not be coming back.
I fear this may be my last letter to you, my darling, Arthur writes. Fen won’t give up hope and calls the war office, wanting to know if Arthur is still alive; they refuse to tell her anything. Searching for answers, she returns to his letter, but parts of it just don’t make sense. Through her tears Fen realises that her darling Arthur is giving her all the clues she needs to find out what happened to him.
- With the war behind them and nothing left for her in England, Fen travels to the deceptively pretty French village where she thinks Arthur might be, but there’s no sign of him. She’s close to giving up when she finds his silver cigarette case and another letter full of clues. But when the local priest is killed, it’s clear someone wants to keep wartime secrets buried. If Arthur, a brilliant spy, was outwitted and betrayed, can Fen stay alive long enough to find out what happened to the man she loves?
‘Well, Miss Churche, if I may, can I write to you?’
Fen opened her eyes and blinked away the tears. Arthur had written to her. Two or three times a week, and they’d met up too. He could never say exactly where he was based, but he would borrow a Land Rover or hitch a ride from the other chaps who were stationed at his digs. Sometimes his letters came with thick black redaction lines across the text, and when that was the case, Fen had to work extra hard to decipher the clues he would lay out for her. They were easy, by and large, and especially so when you knew the context. When he wrote meet me in your Revlon don’t you think? she knew he wasn’t asking her to tart up but was suggesting a trip to London, it being a classic ‘hidden’ type of clue, the answer being sandwiched between RevLON and DON’t. And, of course, there was one letter full of clues… like For you, unravelled, an emerging gent I am… that had led to her accepting his proposal of marriage.
She looked down at the letter in her hands. Was this full of hidden messages too? She had to admit that as far as farewell letters went it was rather an odd one, mentioning airmen and Agen Cathedral.
Fen smoothed out the letter and read it again. The bit about the cathedral and the airmen, it really didn’t make any sense. Who would mix up a hotel – and no doubt his quarters wouldn’t have been the Georges V exactly – with a cathedral? A crossword setter, that’s who.
‘Muddled up…’ she muttered to herself. ‘So it’s an anagram. Of Agen Cathedral.’
Fen turned the letter over and with a pencil she wrote all the letters of AGEN CATHEDRAL in a circle. Her eyes sketched across the letters, willing them to fall into place, but they just wouldn’t. She scrubbed it all out in frustration and wrote the letters out again, in a different order and jiggled up within the circle. Suddenly ANGEL sprang to her from the jumbled letters.