Genre: YA Historical Mystery
Word Count: 60,000
Pitch: Amid the grit and pageantry of medieval Germany, an impetuous teenage noblewoman investigates a brutal murder. When she suspects the friend of her betrothed, she must risk her heart and life to catch the killer.
No one prayed for my mother’s soul. No one spoke of her. My uncle Baldric forbade it. But I refused to forget her. She died fifteen years ago when I was only a babe, but every morning, before the rest of the castle woke, I went to the chapel to plead for her.
Darkness filled the room, intensifying the smell of incense and the aching in my legs as I knelt on the stone floor. I recited the De Profundis, the Misere, and the Requiem Aeternam, prayers suitable for a soul suffering in Purgatory. I considered praying that my uncle Arnulf might finally drink himself to death, but I decided against it. I stood and walked out to the chapel garden.
On my right loomed the bergfried, a defensive tower and, in troubled times, a holding place for prisoners. On my left, the crenellated battlements of the south wall snapped at the sapphire sky. I shuddered, feeling like a mouse trapped in the jaws of a lion. Father Gregory would have reproached me for such ingratitude. Most ladies would count themselves lucky to have a guardian as wise and temperate as Baron Baldric, but I knew he kept me out of duty rather than love. And most ladies do not have to contend with an uncle as reckless and cruel as his brother, Baron Arnulf.
I walked toward the stone archway that led to the main courtyard. A ghostly voice cried out. “Judge thou, O Lord, them that wrong me.
MURDER MOST FOUL
Mr. Boddy is found on the dining room floor, a chair toppled on top of him, his lips stained red. There’s a manuscript page stuck to the leg of the chair. A desert plate with crumbs is beside him, and a small note in his fingers reads, “Pie for my benevolent benefactor.”