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A Dying Fall

Author(s): John Paulits

When the AWB Theatre troupe accepts an invitation to perform on the tropical island of Illyria, they get more than they bargained for.  Sudden death.  Mark Louis, company member and amateur detective, suspects murder.  The actors, however, must return home to New York, forcing Mark to conduct his investigation a thousand miles from the crime.


A squatter, grimier than most, shuffled along the tree-lined dirt road. A bicycle rolled by him, but he ignored it, staring instead at a woman, another squatter, bucket in each hand, who approached along the road, heading for the nearby spring. She would be the one.

The woman approached a triangle of golden light filtering through the trees. As she stepped into the light, the man moved to her side of the road. She looked his way and smiled. The smile startled the man. He paused and the woman passed back into shadow. His surprise had allowed the woman to pass by unharmed, and it angered him. He continued to walk, looking for the next one.

Another bicycle, this one coming toward him, roiled up the dust of the road, and he averted his face. When he turned back, another woman approached. She carried nothing, perhaps heading to the marketplace for some early shopping.

He kept his eyes averted until she was steps away. He surveyed the road and saw they were alone. He pulled out the sharp butcher knife he’d brought with him from home and pressed it hard against his right leg. The woman came even with him, and as she stepped past, he threw his left arm around her, pulling her head back and exposing her brown neck. He drew the knife across her flesh. Blood spurted, and the woman crumpled.

The man looked up and down the empty road. With a swing of his leg, he pushed the woman’s body over the edge of the dirt road. It rolled down the hill until it stopped, its legs entangled in undergrowth. He turned and hurried away. It had been easy.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781771551212
Genre: Mystery
Date Published:
Publisher: Champagne Books

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