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Murder in New York (The Pinkerton Man Series Book 2)

The Pinkerton Man Series

by C.J. Baty

Coming back to New York to see her ailing father, Lizzie Ferguson did not expect to find him healthy and newly married to a much younger woman. She, also, didn’t expect to connect with an old lover and childhood friend or be accused of killing her father. But, life has a way of knocking you to your knees when you least expect it.

Stiles Long had always regretted that the killer, from his first case as a Pinkerton Agent, had got away. Now, in New York it was happening again. The Hotel Astor Bar was a meeting place for men who enjoyed the company of men. And, some of them were being brutally murdered. When one of the suspects from the original case appears at the hotel, Stiles is torn between his desire to stop a killer and kiss the man senseless.

Two different cases, but some of the faces overlap from one to the other. Stiles and Lizzie are in a race to discover who the killers are before another body gets added to the count.

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The Astor Lounge was surprisingly crowded at seven in the evening. Stiles had left Lizzie preparing for her date with Martin Collins. It was good to see her smiling, though she did seem a bit more anxious than she usually appeared.

Choosing a pale blue tie and handkerchief to go with his best black suit, Stiles felt confident as the waiter led him to a table in the right corner of the room.

“Will this be all right, sir?” the young man asked. Stiles noted quickly that the tables around him contained couples. Ladies with flowered and feathered hats and gowns in velvet or wool. They were accompanied by men being attentive and polite. Across the room, the tables seemed to be occupied by a single man or two men in quiet discussion. It was easy to see from this angle where the proprietors had drawn the invisible line that Collins had told him about.


“I believe I’d be more comfortable over there.” Stiles pointed to an empty table in the far-left corner. A single red rose in a slender vase adorned the table.

The waiter smiled knowingly and directed Stiles across the room to the table he had requested.

“Excellent choice, sir. There’s a nice view of the bar from here.”

Stiles sat and gave the young man, Maurice, his drink order.

At the large bar, several men worked preparing drinks. The right side only had two men and one lady between them. Probably her date and a chaperone. Even though this was New York and 1907, society as a whole had not moved that far ahead in their social graces.

On the left side of the bar, several men sat with their drinks before them as they talked to those sitting nearby or standing. A large man standing with his back to Stiles was talking to a young man, probably in his twenties, with golden blond hair and rosy cheeks. He was blushing at something the other man was saying.

Stiles had the odd sensation that he’d met the large man somewhere before. His broad shoulders filled the coat he was wearing and tapered down to a slim waist. The man’s legs were very long. He would have to bend over to lean his elbows on the bar’s surface if he chose to do that. At the moment, he stood upright, and this let Stiles know the man was six feet plus a few inches, at the very least.

The more Stiles stared at him, the edgier he became. What was it? His hair was cut short and cropped close to his neck. The color was unclear in the low lighting in the lounge but appeared dark. At that moment, the young man he was talking with excused himself. The larger man turned to watch him as he walked away. Stiles could see his face for the first time.

He wore eyeglasses with tinted lenses, and he had a scar that reached from the corner of his left eye to his jawbone. Clean shaven, the scar was clearly visible. It was old and left a dark stain on his face. The man scoured, the room and his eyes stopped when he reached where Stiles was setting. Only for a moment did he stare at Stiles, then he quickly turned back to the barman. He removed his wallet from his coat and lay several bills on the bar. He strolled from the room and greeted the young blond as he was returning. They left together.

Stiles couldn’t shake the feeling that he had seen this man before, but there was nothing familiar about him. There’s no way he would have forgotten someone with such a presence or that scar. It was ugly and frightening.

Deciding to have his dinner in the bar, he ordered the pork and boiled potatoes for dinner. Everything was delicious, and after the dishes were cleared away, he enjoyed a second – or was it third? – glass of whiskey. It was a particularly good brand, and he enjoyed the burn and oak flavor it delivered. It was nearing ten, and the left side of the room was decidedly busier than the right side now. Stiles was amazed at the number of men standing about or sitting and mingling together. Knowing that these men felt the way he did gave him a sense of comradery.

A different waiter placed a drink on his table.

“I didn’t order another,” Stiles said.

“It’s from the gentleman at the bar.”

Stiles looked around the waiter to see an attractive young man with caramel colored hair waving at him. He was cute but much too young and feminine for Stiles’ tastes.

“Thank the young man and please assure him I appreciate the offer but I was just leaving.”

The waiter took the message to the man and watched as he delivered it. At least the younger man had the good manners to look disappointed. Accepting of the news of Stiles’ refusal easily, he turned to speak to the man who was standing next to him at the bar.

Stiles signed his bill and left the wait staff a generous tip as well. He was just standing when a man with a face he clearly remembered entered the lounge. Michael O’Leary stopped at the entrance and looked around the room. He appeared to be searching for someone.


About the Author

CJ Baty lives with her very patient husband and two encouraging adult children. The recent move to include a second home in Tennessee has fulfilled one of her life long dreams. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to Fan Fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected. Publishing her own stories has been a highlight in her life. It just goes to prove, you are never too old to follow your dreams!