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Murder Leaves Its Mark

Murder Leaves Its Mark: A Hawai‘i Mystery

Copyright Date: 2011
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    Murder Leaves Its Mark
    Book Description:

    Now through October 10, 2011, use this web page to orderMurder Leaves Its Markand receiveMurder Casts a ShadowFREE! This special sale is online only; books ship as a set.Advance praise forMurder Leaves Its Mark:

    "[Mina Beckwith and Ned Manusia] return with another adventure in 1930s Hawaii. Journalist Mina and playwright Ned find themselves involved in the labor disputes resulting from attempts to organize the plantation workers on the islands. When Mina and Ned join family members at the Haleiwa Hotel for a luxurious weekend of horseback riding and beachcombing, they find themselves in the middle of a murder case. Mina's brother-in-law, a police detective, asks her, her twin sister, Nyla, and Ned to help with the investigation. Suspects include a wealthy Chinese merchant who loves French cooking, a hot-headed labor organizer, a couple of wealthy businessmen, and the two enterprising Japanese daughters of the hotel owner. Mina and Nyla's Hawaiian grandmother and her friend, a traditional native healer, make connections between the past and the present. The evolving relationship of Mina and Ned, the escapades of Ollie, a Portuguese water dog, keep the pages turning, while the island setting provides an atmospheric backdrop."-Booklist(15 September 2011)

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-3732-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. 1 MONDAY SPRING 1935
    (pp. 1-12)

    Mina beckwith sat wrapped in a terrycloth robe on the veranda of her bungalow after her morning swim. Her long, wavy dark hair was still wet, and she could feel the salt water drying on her skin, leaving behind a vague prickly sensation. Engrossed in reading the morning editorial in theHonolulu Bulletin,she reached for her tea. Warmth rose from the cup as it neared her lips, and she breathed in a small, aromatic wave of steam before she took a sip and read on, her anger smoldering with every line. When she finished, she threw the newspaper on...

  3. 2 TUESDAY
    (pp. 13-35)

    The next morning Mina awoke to an unexpected phone call from her brother-in-law, Todd Forrest, who also happened to be the detective in charge of homicide for the Honolulu Police Department. He asked if she would come to his office that morning to talk about something. As she hung up the phone, she thought about how her relationship with Todd had changed over the last year after she and Ned had helped him out of the messy affair of the portrait murders. He was now respectful, even kind, to her. And she had become more tolerant of him when she...

    (pp. 36-42)

    The next morning Mina was dreaming that her hand was in a bucket of warm water. She woke up and saw the fluffy, black-faced dog licking her fingers. As soon as she sat up, he sat back, wagged his tail, and made a soft bark.

    “So I overslept,” Mina said to him. “I have a lot on my mind.” She got up and opened the back door for the dog, who ran out behind some plants and returned before she had time to finish yawning and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. The two of them went back to the...

    (pp. 43-61)

    The train depot stood at the cusp of Chinatown, in the hub of Honolulu, just across the King Street bridge that spanned the Nu‘uanu stream. Palm trees framed the entrance to the classical Mediterranean building with its red-tiled roof, thick stucco walls, and a four-sided clock tower that now said one o’clock. Mina sat on one of the benches in the breezy arcade and through the high arches watched the train pull up with the special car that was to take them to Hale‘iwa. Ollie lay curled at her feet on the cool stone floor, oblivious to the hustle and...

  6. 5 FRIDAY
    (pp. 62-75)

    Mina woke early the next morning, and while Nyla was still asleep, she took Ollie out. In the gauzy morning light she went again to look at the Japanese garden. The garden was contained and separated from the rest of the grounds within a high mock orange hedge and appeared to be very well tended. Close behind the south side of the hedge grew a tall monkeypod tree that spread in a canopy over half of the garden. In her bare feet, Mina immediately felt the Japanese grass, with its tickly, prickly little blades. The grass grew in pleasing humps...

    (pp. 76-84)

    The next morning, as Mina was taking Ollie out, Tamiko ran to meet her before she got down the stairs.

    “Mina,” she said, “you won’t believe what’s on the front stairs.” Tamiko led her outside, and there on the rounded concrete stairs at the entrance to the hotel was a message scrawled in chalk that said, “HB prepare to pay for your crimes.” It was signed with a big X. Mina looked down at the letters written in an oversized and almost childish hand, and a sickening feeling swept through her.

    “What should we do?” Tamiko asked. “Mama and Papa...

  8. 7 SUNDAY
    (pp. 85-88)

    Morning sunlight streamed through the windows and a slight breeze lifted the sheer white curtains. Mina knew that she’d overslept, but she didn’t realize how long until she saw that the clock on the dresser said ten. As she rolled out of bed, still half asleep, and headed for the bathroom, she did manage to remember that they were leaving this afternoon. When she later emerged fully awake, freshly showered, dressed, and smelling of powder and perfume, she decided to pack so she wouldn’t have to do it at the last minute. She began stuffing her things in her suitcase...

  9. 8 MONDAY
    (pp. 89-106)

    It was a dark morning at the Hale‘iwa Hotel, and Ned Manusia stared out of the window at the gray sky as rain poured down from the gutters. The storm had come during the night, and the glassy river that greeted him yesterday evening was now a murky brown. It churned and moved swiftly, carrying branches, leaves, and mud under the footbridge and out to the windswept bay.

    This was the last thing he had expected—to arrive in Honolulu and have a policeman greet him at the pier, to be taken on a long drive across the island to...

  10. 9 TUESDAY
    (pp. 107-113)

    “Mina, dear, wake up. It’s almost noon, and the doctor will be here soon.” Grandma Hannah gently shook Mina’s right hand.

    Mina opened her eyes to a room full of sunshine. The pain in her arm had transformed into a kind of stiffness. She looked up at her grandmother. “Grandma, I dreamt about the man. The one you asked to come.”

    “Puna came this morning and told me that Kaiwi said he didn’t need to come, and that he would see us the next time, when we came back. I wasn’t sure what he meant, and neither was Puna.”


  11. 10 THURSDAY
    (pp. 114-129)

    The group that gathered at O‘ahu Cemetery around Amanda Burnham’s grave was considerably smaller than the crowd that had nearly filled the Central Union Church for her funeral service. Apparently, Mina reflected, most people didn’t feel obligated to be present to watch Amanda being lowered into her final resting place. The late spring sun had already fallen behind the western wall of Nu‘uanu Valley, where the old cemetery, laid out in the park-like American rural style, presided behind the city of Honolulu. In the softened daylight, an indifferent wind ruffled through the tall trees that sheltered the departed, swaying the...

  12. 11 FRIDAY
    (pp. 130-146)

    Ned came across the hau arbor into Mina’s bungalow with a bowl of warm scones and placed them on the dining table that Grandma Hannah had neatly set. Ned was glad to be once again staying next door to Mina in the twin bungalow owned by Nyla and Todd. They seldom used the little house and were more than glad to have Ned there. Grandma Hannah had come to stay with Mina until she recuperated and was delighted to be cooking and straightening up for her granddaughter.

    “Mina will be right here,” Grandma Hannah told Ned. “She slept in a...

  13. 12 SATURDAY
    (pp. 147-161)

    Nyla eased the sedan along a wide driveway, bordered by a precisely trimmed mock orange hedge. The drive ended in a roundabout that enclosed a grassy circle with a birdbath at its center surrounded by a profusion of small, pink roses. A deep, shady portico sheltered the grand wooden doorway to Violet Lennox’s whitewashed Mediterranean house. The neighborhood was tucked away at the base of Round Top Drive, in a small area sheltered by the ancient volcanic cone of ‘Ualaka‘a. It was a quiet, older neighborhood with well-established gardens where people with money and family connections preferred to live. A...

  14. 13 SUNDAY
    (pp. 162-179)

    The day was sunny, with a fine breeze that rolled in waves through the tall, green leaves of cane. The coupe hummed along while Ned drove and Mina gazed, lost in thought, at the sunlight and shadows moving over the Wai‘anae mountain range. Ollie had curled up in the back seat and gone to sleep. Up ahead, Ned could see Todd’s car. Nyla’s window was rolled down, and he could just make out her elbow as it leaned into the bottom of the frame, her hand resting on the top. He could see the outlines of Charles and Grandma Hannah...

  15. 14 MONDAY
    (pp. 180-191)

    “I can’t believe that Daddy hired that cowboy,” Nyla said as she pulled into a parking stall on Merchant Street.

    “I tried to talk to Grandma about it,” Mina said. “She just smiles and says she had nothing to do with it.” She looked over at the Burnham and Robbins building. “I’m not sure if I’m ready to dive into the Inferno first thing in the morning.”

    “Come on,” Nyla said with a laugh. “It’s not that bad.”

    “Close enough,” Mina answered. “Look, here comes Cecily, right on time. It’s just nine.”

    When they entered the building, Mina and Cecily...

  16. 15 TUESDAY
    (pp. 192-215)

    Mina took the wheel of her 1934 Packard convertible coupe and was conscious of the fact that she hadn’t driven since the shooting for fear of aggravating her shoulder. She willed herself to relax. It was a fifteen-minute drive, she told herself, and nothing really bad could happen in such a short time. As she and Grandma Hannah pulled out of the long driveway, she could hear Ollie gently protesting being left behind. While Mrs. Olivera cleaned, Mr. Olivera had promised to find time from his yard duties to give Ollie a bath and clip his nails. Mina thought the...

  17. 16 WEDNESDAY
    (pp. 216-228)

    “I just can’t believe she’s his sister.” Mina shook her head. “I hope he didn’t kill her.”

    Mina and Ned were sitting out on her deck eating breakfast. She was wrapped in her favorite beach robe, and her hair, damp from a morning swim, framed her face in disheveled wisps and ringlets. Ollie was rummaging around under the table looking for crumbs. “It’s a shame Grandma left so early this morning,” she said as she smoothed the rich, yellow butter over her scone. “She loves your scones. I’ll bet you could win a cooking prize with these.”

    “Are they that...

  18. 17 THURSDAY
    (pp. 229-236)

    The morning sun in Maunalani Heights fell through the windows and onto Nyla and Todd’s kitchen table. Ned and Mina had just arrived and were stirring cream and sugar into the cups of coffee that Mrs. Olivera had poured for them just before she went upstairs to sort out the laundry. Ollie had trotted after her, but changed his mind and returned to the kitchen just in time to hear the displeased tone in Todd’s voice.

    “You’ve invited them over here ?” Todd was about to take a bite of his toast but put it down.

    “Why not?” Nyla poured...

  19. 18 FRIDAY
    (pp. 237-246)

    From the upper deck of theHumu‘ula,as the ship plodded its way toward Kahului Harbor, Ned saw Maui for the first time. As the morning light began its ritual transformation of darkness, the broad volcanic dome of Haleakala slowly appeared. The land swept down from the crater to a wide, flat plain and up again to the rainsculpted West Maui Mountains. Below him, and toward the bow of the ship, the gates that separated the empty cattle pens rattled as the ship rolled with the ocean swells, and the smell of hay and farm animals wafted to the upper...

  20. 19 SATURDAY
    (pp. 247-251)

    After they had been riding for nearly an hour, Mina felt the chill of the dark, early morning and did up the buttons on the old denim jacket she’d borrowed from Louise. As her horse trailed along behind the little herd, she thought she could feel the whole world poised on the verge of a new day. The nearly full moon hung above the horizon, and before her the Southern Cross lingered in the sky. She knew that soon there would be a few moments when the brighter stars and the constellations would stand out like road signs as the...

  21. 20 SUNDAY
    (pp. 252-255)

    Mina sat on the dark wooden pew in the back of Keawala‘i Church in her pale yellow lace mu‘umu‘u and looked out of the deep window, past the shaded gravestones and over the old rock wall, at the dazzling blue of the Pacific. The surface of the ocean lay glassy and still like a turquoise mirror. In the shaded interior of the little seaside church she could almost smell the stones that had rested in the thick walls, behind the smooth white plaster, listening year after year to the sound of the sea and the singing of hymns. She wondered...

  22. 21 MONDAY
    (pp. 256-265)

    It was still dark when Ned and Mina arrived at the top of Haleakalā. It had been something of a hair-raising adventure to drive to the top in the dark on the new road along steep cliffs and twists and turns. There was no one to be seen as they parked a little below the ten thousand-foot summit. Temperatures fluctuated at this elevation from thirty to sixty-five degrees, with the occasional freeze, and even in June it was cold. They were both wrapped up in coats, scarves, sweaters, gloves, and hats. Louise had made sure they were properly outfitted—not...

  23. 22 WEDNESDAY
    (pp. 266-277)

    Mina woke to Ollie’s excited barking. It took her a moment to remember that she was at home in her own bed, and not on Maui. They had all come home last night around eight. She remembered that she had taken a shower and gotten into bed, and knew she must have fallen asleep quickly, as her lamp on the bedside table was still turned on. She clicked it off and got out of bed to see why Ollie was fussing.

    Todd was outside in his car with the motor running. Ned came out of the house in a hurry,...

  24. 23 THURSDAY
    (pp. 278-287)

    “Of course i was worried about you,” Ned said as he started up the car and drove away from John Rogers Airfield. It was midday and the bright sun at the airfield made him squint. “I couldn’t believe you just went flying off like that.”

    “I tried to call you at Todd’s office, but no one was there.” Mina didn’t sound very apologetic. “Then there was no time if I wanted to catch the plane.”

    “What exactly were you chasing after?” Ned looked at her and then downshifted as he pulled up to a stop sign. “Your sister wouldn’t say...

  25. 24 FRIDAY
    (pp. 288-296)

    Ned looked around Todd and Nyla’s living room, where everyone had gathered. It was nearing four in the afternoon and Todd had not yet returned, so it was decided to get underway without him. Emil Devon sat very close to Tessa, with his arm around her, as if he were protecting a child. Hester sat next to her sister, stiff and staring at the floor until Ollie came into the room. When the dog walked over to her and laid his head on her lap, she relaxed a little and responded by petting him. In their simple black dresses they...

    (pp. 297-302)

    Ned winced as the crack of Nyla’s croquet ball sent his ball roqueting toward the bushes and earned her an extra shot. Then, she expertly used her mallet to drive her ball through the home wickets and smack up against the stake, clinching a victory of two out of three games for the red, yellow, and orange team. He would be able to come in second, but his teammates, Todd and Mina, were just a little too silly and lagged behind Tom and Cecily on Nyla’s team. Todd and Mina were laughing because Todd had mistakenly sent his ball through...

    (pp. 303-304)
  28. Back Matter
    (pp. 305-309)