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The Pelman Murders is a twisting, intricate tale revolving around ten individuals who are all related to one another by blood, marriage, or friendship. There are twelve murders in the book. Embezzlement, incest, fraud, blackmail, and undisclosed identities take the story to a high level of mystery. Readers are telling the author that they have a hard time putting the book down, and many finish the book in two settings. This is a guaranteed page turner which won't disappoint you.
With tears streaming, Maggie Sullivan rushed into the night leaving the Mary Francis Tavern behind her. She hoped the winter darkness would conceal the shame she felt caused by the abrupt rejection received moments before by the father of her three children. The young woman sensed her stomach revolt and gasped for air fearing she might have to stop and vomit on her hurried trip home.
She had been so sure of herself!
Drunk with love, she was absolutely certain that everyone who counseled her over the years regarding her relationship with David was incorrect in their analysis of the situation, and most likely jealous. Not surprisingly, more than one friendship ended poorly because of her association with him, David Evnowith, the father of her children. It even cost her the one connection that hurt the most, that with her father.
A widower, the city policeman raised his only daughter by himself from age seven. However, the teen years brought raging hormones and rebellion. His little girl, who once worshiped him and whom he loved deeply, was becoming a woman. He was at a loss to know what to do with her. His approach was a blunt military style of parenting unfamiliar to both; and the more he attempted to control the harder she fought against him.
She was besieged with the desire to leap out into life while completely unprepared for the journey. On the other side, he stood strongly opposed to her involvement with any person or thing that might affect her future negatively. In the end, he blamed himself for her mistakes, taking responsibility for her actions, feeling he had somehow let her down.
When she became pregnant at sixteen, he stepped in and convinced her to give the baby up for adoption. They were fortunate in that his childless sister, Monica Besanto, was desperate for a child and gladly accepted the tiny bundle of life as if she were her own daughter naming her, Annie.
Maggie fought him at first, but soon saw the wisdom of the decision and allowed the adoption. The father, David Evnowith, never said a word. He traded his silence for the release of being required to pay support. Everything seemed to be coming together; and then, Driscoll made the ultimate mistake.
He ordered Maggie to stop seeing David Evnowith.
A torrid screaming match erupted that swept from one side of their home to the other. It ended with Maggie packing her belongings.
Here mind ablaze in a blind fever, she ripped through her closets and dresser throwing her belongings into paper sacks, a beat-up suitcase, and anything else that she could find that would hold more than a few items. That day, in an uncontrollable rage, Maggie moved out of her childhood home and left behind the one person in her world who would gladly have surrendered his life for her safety. As the car drove her away from all she knew, carrying her into an uncertain future, she glanced back only once to where her father stood in the open doorway still begging her not to leave.
His fists were clenched in anger, but more than one tear left a moist trail on his red tinged cheeks as the Lincoln carrying his daughter sped away with David Evnowith at the wheel. David, who gutlessly had stayed with the car as Maggie drug everything out of the house that she was taking with her, and piled it in the trunk and backseat with her father following pleading with her to stop and reconsider her decision.
A gust of cold penetrated Maggie’s thin dress chilling her. With teeth chattering, she wrapped her arms tightly about herself. In her hurry to escape into the night, she left behind her winter coat. The theater costume offered no protection.
It was the very dress she wore for six nights of production at the Player’s Theater (a small local amateur playhouse) of the play The Crucible. She played the part of one of the women wrongly accused of being a witch and put to death. Maggie loved theater, and she loved to dress up. Like many, her favorite day of the year was Halloween. She would often sneak up on friends and say, “”trick or treat” then gave them a big hug before they could say anything in reply.
Earlier that day, she told a friend, the theater’s seamstress and wardrobe manager, that she was going to wear the dress to meet David that evening because she felt “wicked,” or so the older woman later recalled. The two shared a laugh. Then, Maggie rushed away to meet David and to misfortune with the seamstress calling over her shoulder a reminder to make sure the young mother took a warm coat with her to wear and to not stay out too late.
Unbeknownst to Maggie, while she was excitedly preparing to meet David, he was being pressured by his parents to end the relationship. It was not the first time they spoke to him about his liaison with Maggie. However, it was the bluntest.
He was told this time coldly that if he did not break it off that evening, his parents would not only end it for him in a very ugly and public way, but then there was the family financial chest he must consider, which could always be left to some charity, if not to a maid or butler to add insult for his failure to comply. It did not matter that their son was the father of three daughters by Maggie. They wanted her gone from his life ….
Tears blurred her vision as she started to cross the street forgetting the danger of the hidden ice lying beneath a layer of freshly fallen snow. She slipped once, stumbling over frozen ruts left where tires had earlier turned snow into slush, which then froze when evening came and the traffic reduced to a trickle, and the temperature dropped. The slush had turned into traps where dark ice lay beneath a light coating of freshly fallen show.
Maggie managed to catch herself and was able to regain her balance just as she saw the not too distant headlights of an oncoming bus. It was the last one on that route for the day; and, it was being driven by a snow-blind driver who was barely functioning.
Maggie stood in the middle of the street wiping her tears away staring blankly at the oncoming lights when she suddenly felt the presence of another just off to her side. “Bitch” a female voice said with a growl.
Maggie turned to look. “Mayleen?”
“Bitch. What are you doing sneaking around with my man, David?”
“Your man? David is MY man, Mayleen. He’s the father of my three children.”
The headlights from the bus bounced off the snow and ice illuminating the quarreling women as the vehicle drew closer. Then, David was suddenly there, attempting to intervene. But, he was not fast enough, and with a snarl and glint in her eye revealing complete hatred for Maggie, Mayleen pushed her backwards into the path of the bus.
Maggie’s scream was short-lived as she fell and was struck by the bus. The vehicle passed over her, crushing her.
Later, the passengers all reported to the police of seeing a man forcing a tall woman from the scene. She stopped several times, turning back and shouting obscenities in the direction of the bus, while the man pushed and pulled her away from the scene. No one who witnessed the accident saw either of the couple’s faces or could provide any clues as to their identities.
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Gordon Kuhn was born in Chicago. His father was a chauffeur, and his mother was an LPN. He joined the Marines at 17 and fought in Vietnam. He has worked as a janitor, ditch digger, hospital orderly, insurance salesman, insurance investigator, lumber product's salesman, oiler on a drag line, real estate salesman, property surveyor, and limo driver. In addition, he owned his own insurance agency. He earned a Master of Accountancy and taught for ten years at the University of S. Florida. He earned a CPA designation along with a CVA and CFA. He worked as a forensic accountant specializing in fraud. He began writing while in the Marine Corps and has three books (two of poetry) published. He is currently working on a true-crime nonfiction about a serial rapist/murderer.