I can’t believe it’s almost two years to the day that I stayed in with Nancy Boyarsky to chat all about her novel Liar Liar. You can see that event here. Today I’m delighted to host an extract from Nancy’s latest book in her P.I. Nicole Graves series, The Entitled.
Published today, 29th September 2020, by Light Messages Publishing, The Entitled is available for purchase through the links here.
P.I. Nicole Graves’ latest assignment sends her to London to retrieve Abigail Fletcher, a 17-year-old in a study abroad program at the prestigious King’s College in London. The assignment sounds simple enough. But Abigail’s return is put on indefinite hold when she’s charged with the murder of her boyfriend, a former student at King’s.
Nicole believes Abigail has been framed, but the victim’s tight-knit circle of friends and relatives are most unwilling to talk to an American detective. Further complicating the case, is Abigail’s defiant and uncooperative demeanor. As evidence stacks up against Abigail, Nicole discovers that she herself has become the next target.
Nicole’s first solo case abroad as a private detective has just turned a lot more deadly than she ever anticipated.
An Extract from The Entitled
Nicole gave her name and explained that she was a P.I. hired by Abigail’s parents to bring the girl back to L.A. When she was done, she repeated her question. “What does this murder have to do with Abigail?”
“We don’t know that it does,” Norton said. “Miss Fletcher was acquainted with the victim. She was caught on CCTV entering his building around the time of his death. An earlier video showed her having an altercation with him on the street. We found Mr. Malouf’s mobile near his body and called the last number he’d dialed, which was Miss Fletcher’s. We’re hoping she can help us with our inquiries. We also need her fingerprints.”
“Fingerprints?” Nicole didn’t like the sound of this. “Why?”
“To eliminate her as a suspect.”
“Is she a suspect?” Nicole said.
“We are just beginning our investigation,” he said stiffly. “At this point, everyone is a suspect.”
Abigail was sitting motionless on the chair where they’d seated her. She looked completely gob smacked. To Nicole, it was unthinkable that this young girl—spoiled as she was— wascapable of murder. But she hardly knew Abigail and had no idea what she was capable of. It was already apparent she had a bad temper.
“How was he killed?” Nicole said.
“I’m not at liberty to say.” Norton seemed impatient to move on. “We’re here because we need Miss Fletcher to come to the station and answer a few questions.”
“Come to the station?” Nicole said. “Look at her! This poor girl was savagely beaten last night, and she’s under the care of a doctor. He’s supposed to stop by this morning to look at her again. In addition to that, she’s in shock because she just learned that her boyfriend is dead. Why can’t you question her later, when she’s recovered a bit?”
Norton didn’t answer. He was giving the room a closer look. Nicole wondered if he’d even heard her. Just then, he spotted the blood-stained coat draped over the end of the couch and paused. “Hello,” he said, like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. “What do we have here?” Nicole instantly regretted that she’d neglected to fold the coat lining-side-out after showing it to the doctor.
Norton pulled a pair of latex gloves out of his pocket, put them on, and picked up the coat for closer inspection. “Who does this belong to?”
Nicole hesitated, realizing how this would look. But there was no denying whose coat it was. “It’s Abigail’s. As I told you, she was attacked last night,” she said. “Surely you noticed her swollen eye. The doctor thought she might have had a nosebleed.”
Norton reached into the closet for a clean laundry bag—he seemed quite familiar with the hotel’s amenities—and put the coat inside. “Follow us downstairs,” he said. “We’ll take you to the station.”
“What about her injuries?”
Norton turned to Abigail. “Are you in need of medical attention? We can take you to A&E before you come to the station.”
“I’m fine,” Abigail said. “I’m not going to the hospital, and I’m not going to any police station either. We have other plans.”
“I’m afraid you haven’t a choice, Miss Fletcher,” he said. “In a murder investigation, we have the right to bring you to the station and question you.”
Now isn’t that intriguing? The Entitled sounds a cracker!
About Nancy Boyarsky
Nancy Boyarsky is the bestselling author of the award-winning Nicole Graves Mysteries, of which The Entitled is the fifth in the series. The Entitled is on Apple Books list of most anticipated fall books of 2020. Nancy’s first mystery, The Swap, won a gold medal in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.
Before turning to mysteries, Nancy coauthored Backroom Politics, a New York Times notable book, with her husband, Bill Boyarsky. She has written several textbooks on the justice system as well as articles for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and McCall’s. She also contributed to political anthologies, including In the Running, about women’s political campaigns. In addition to her writing career, she was communications director for political affairs for ARCO.