During the course of the remodel on one of the cabins at the writers retreat, the contractor finds a box hidden in a wall. Jill opens the box to find love letters written to a woman named Francine more than fifty years ago. Jill decides to track down the woman to return the letters only to find that she was the fourth victim of the Silk Stalking Strangler, a serial killer who killed thirteen women in the mid 1960’s. The strangler was never caught so Jill and the gang decide to dig into the mystery only to find that the fourth victim of the Silk Stalking Strangler may not have been killed by the Strangler after all. The question before the group becomes: if not the strangler then who?
Five years ago award winning actor Rhett Crawford threw a Halloween party for a group of family members and friends. The party, which actually took place over a four day weekend, was held at his beachfront estate on Gull Island. On the third night of the party the groundskeeper, Wylie Slater, found the body of one of the guests, Georgia Darcy, bludgeoned and left in the toolshed beyond the garden. The authorities were notified immediately and interviews of all guests on the property were conducted. It was eventually determined that the victim’s date, a man named Dru Breland, had most likely killed the woman before fleeing the scene of the crime.
According to witness statements, Georgia and her date had been bickering constantly during the course of their stay, and more than one witness had seen Dru slap Georgia before stomping off on the night she died. The authorities conducted an exhaustive search but were unable to locate Mr. Breland. As far as anyone associated with the investigation could find out, he was never seen again. Dru was a wealthy man with a depth of resources. It was assumed by most that he had fled the country and started a new life elsewhere under an assumed name.
Then five days ago, the oceanfront estate, once owned by Rhett Crawford but now owned by an out of state developer, had been scheduled for demolition. During the destruction of the house a human skeleton was found in a hidden room off the wine cellar. After a thorough investigation by the medical examiner and his team, it was determined that the body in the hidden room was in fact the decomposed remains of murder suspect, Dru Breland. My friend Jackson Jones, owner of the fledging Gull Island News, latched onto the story and seems determined to find out who killed Georgia Darcy five years ago, and how her date, Dru Breland, ended up in the secret room.
Jack knew that the five year old mystery would be a complicated one to unravel, so he asked me, Jillian Hanford, if I would be willing to present the mystery to the writers group I currently lived and sleuthed with. I agreed to Jack’s request which brings us to the regular Monday meeting of the eclectic group of writers I call friend but consider family.