Title: The Slaughter of Leith Hall
Author: Lexie Conynham
Publisher: The Kellas Cat Press
Genre: Historical, Thriller
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The Excerpt …
Lord Watt’s twin he was not, unless one believed in fairies and changelings. Where Lord
Watt was sombre stillness, Patrick Byres of Tonley was constantly in motion – and from what Charlie Rob had heard, he needed to be, for Byres of Tonley was not short of enemies, some more powerful than others. He already had his pistol in his hand, dangling at the end of an arm that seemed too long and undulating for his short body. Still joking with the other gentlemen, he seemed to sidle up to the firing point, only half-glancing at the target bottle as if he hoped to take it by surprise. His eyes seemed to be everywhere, his grin mobile too. He fired in mid-conversation, catching the bottle on its flank – Charlie saw it spin frantically before it smashed. Byres congratulated himself heartily, and danced away from the firing point again, allowing poor Mayen, their host, to take another wasted shot.
At last the turns had been taken, and despite Mayen and Matthew Keracher there were no more bottles left to smash. Charlie hurried with the other servants to fetch the horses, tethered out of harm’s way nearby to try what nourishment they could from the frosty grass. Caught here in a tilted valley in a loop of the Deveron river, they had been sheltered today, but the light was fading fast behind the hills. John Leith favoured both Charlie and horse with a smile as they returned, and thanked Charlie for his boost up into the saddle. The gentlemen settled themselves, the servants following behind on foot, several carrying their masters’ pistol cases.
Lord Watt rode ramrod straight, of course, a long-nosed hound following gracefully at his horse’s heels. Charlie found himself tripping over Leith Hall spaniels, and Lang Tam caught his arm to stop him falling. Byres of Tonley, leaning dangerously to one side, poked Abernethy of Mayen sharply in the ribs and seemed to whisper something before touching his spurs to his horse’s flanks and galloping off. With a cheer, a few of the others followed, racing towards Mayen House. Abernethy of Mayen, though, edged over to John Leith, neither of them out of a walking pace yet.
About the Book
‘See, Charlie, it might be near twenty year since Culloden, but there’s plenty hard feelings still amongst the Jacobites, and no so far under the skin, ken?’
Charlie Rob has never thought of politics, nor strayed far from his Aberdeenshire birthplace. But when John Leith of Leith Hall takes him under his wing, his life changes completely. Soon he is far from home, dealing with conspiracy and murder, and lost in a desperate hunt for justice.
About the Author
Lexie Conyngham is a historian living in the shadow of the Highlands. Her historical crime novels are born of a life amidst Scotland’s old cities, ancient universities and hidden-away aristocratic estates, but she has written since the day she found out that people were allowed to do such a thing. Beyond teaching and research, her days are spent with wool, wild allotments and a wee bit of whisky.
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Happy Reading, x