Mary Grand –  Death at Castle Cove

This week Crime Cymru’s Mary Grand gives us a peek at her latest novel – with the enticing title Death at Castle Cove ……

In Death at Castle Cove, we meet Susan Flynn, busy retired teacher, dog walker, campaigner, recently divorced.

Susan is part of a dog walking group.  When her young lodger, Colette, dies at Castle Cove the police decide it was an accident.  Susan is not so sure, and soon realises that one of the dog walking group must have been responsible for Colette’s death. Susan won’t rest until she solves the mystery and finds the killer.

I am sharing two extracts from the book.

Death at Castle Cove  opens with a prologue, as the killer looks down at Colette, sat, alone, on a cold Sunday evening

Prologue – Sunday 11th October.

This is a secret place. Safe and cosy by day, but tonight it feels isolated and eerie. Not many people know of Castle Cove, inaccessible to cars, it is one of those magical places here on the island. Enormous boulders have been placed to protect the land from the waves that crash into and erode it, and yet Colette, huddled among them, appears vulnerable and alone on this cold October evening. Suddenly her white-blonde hair catches the wind. I don’t need to see her face to be reminded of how much her beauty hurts me. She is a fool to be down here on her own. However, she is oblivious to the threat gathering in the sea salt air, making it too easy for me. If only she’d stayed away from the island, left me alone with my secrets and my past. But she came, and she won’t stop digging until all my  secrets have  clawed their way out. She has left me no option, she has to die.

The next extract takes place a few hours after the scene above. Susan rushes down to Castle Cove late at night with her friend Robert. She has been told a body has been found.

Later that night.

‘Come on,’ urged Robert. ‘I’ve got a torch, keep close to me.’

‘Watch out, there’s a log across one of the steps,’ she shouted, remembering the clamber up here earlier in the day.

‘I’ve got it, hang on.’ He passed her the torch and heaved the log to the side.

Susan returned the torch, and they slowly descended the steps. She was relieved to get to the bottom. Steephill Cove appeared deserted; there was a surprising amount of light from the moon, which shone on the sea and rocks.

They passed through the gate, passed the lighthouse holiday home and turned the corner. In contrast to the still emptiness of Steephill Cove, Castle Cove, which they could now see ahead of them, was buzzing with activity.

They could see a large group of people, torches flashing, and a static floodlight lit up the area. Susan could see the flash of the reflective strips on tabards and uniforms, the front lights of a four-wheel drive vehicle, and then she heard the whirling sound of a helicopter heading their way.

As they walked along the concrete pathway, the waves were crashing into the boulders – Susan could feel the spray wetting her face. Her heart raced, thumping against her ribcage. She saw a man, alone with his dog, staring ahead and ran towards him. ‘What is it?’ she screamed. ‘What’s happened?’

‘I found this girl, oh, god—’ replied the man.

Susan asked the question she already knew the answer to. ‘Do you know who she is?’

‘I recognise her from the bar at the Glanville – pretty girl.’

Susan clutched her stomach, it was her, it had to be. She pushed past the man, she had to get to Colette, she couldn’t lie there surrounded by strangers.

As she walked over to the group, a man with the words ‘Operational Commander’ on his bright yellow tabard approached her.

‘Can I help you?’

‘I think the girl you are looking after is Colette, I know her, she lives with me.’

The man nodded. ‘We found her name in her purse, you say Colette lives with you? Could you give me a few details so we can get her NHS details up?’

‘I want to talk to her.’

‘I’m sorry, it’s best you stay here. The paramedics are trying to help her, but she is very poorly, and is being taken to hospital by helicopter now. It would be a huge help if you could answer some questions for me. So, let’s start with date of birth, and any medication she is on.’

Susan took a deep breath, tried to steady her voice ‘She is twenty-three, her birthday was on the second of September.’

‘Good, and medication?’

‘She has an EpiPen, she is allergic to shellfish.’

‘Thank you, that’s helpful. I need to go and pass that on. Stay here, please.’

As he left, Susan heard a rumbling. She looked up as the noise got louder, and the lights of the helicopter came into view.

There was nothing magical about the place this evening, it was dark and menacing.

Read more about Mary and her novels here :-

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