Betrayal, murder…and jewels. Please welcome Daniella Bernett as she delves into an unforgettable mystery.
Betrayal. The sibilant hiss of the word sends a frisson slithering down one’s spine because at its insidious core is deceit. Betrayal is perpetrated all around us. Against one’s country, the innocent and the guilty, husbands and wives, friends and business partners. But in Betrayed By The Truth, the ninth book in my mystery series featuring journalist Emmeline Kirby and her jewel thief/insurance investigator husband Gregory Longdon, my wicked imagination explores how the truth becomes the ultimate double-cross that inevitably leads to treason and murder.
Of course, none of us ever knows what we would do until we are thrust into a particular situation. Emmeline and Gregory set out on a perilous trail, when a stranger asks them to deliver a pouch with rare red diamonds to hotelier Alexander Colefax. Within minutes of the encounter, the man lay dead in the street. Then, Colefax is found bludgeoned to death.
It doesn’t take much to whet the appetite of a journalist hungry for answers. What emerges is a milieu of distrust involving the son of a Kremlin elite, a Russian mafia boss and a spy. Everyone has something to hide and secrets can be bought. The price for Colefax’s silence is a stolen Fabergé egg. I chose this objet d’art after reading an article about an egg that was discovered on the seized superyacht of a Russian oligarch, who was facing sanctions. In my research, I discovered that Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II commissioned 50 of the bejeweled eggs between 1885 and 1917. Only 43 are believed to exist today. The one in my tale is drenched in diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls. It contains a gold pirate ship with a diamond treasure chest. Men are willing to kill to possess it. When the egg vanishes, Gregory becomes a target.
The hunt for the truth draws Emmeline and Gregory to Interlaken in Switzerland. I fell in love with Interlaken, when I was on a trip of Alpine villages. The town’s name means “between the lakes.” It sits on the narrow strip of land separating Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. From my hotel window, I savored the view of the majestic snowy peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, a vast limestone mountain wall where glaciers and frozen lakes cling to the ridged slopes. But it was on a boat ride along Lake Thun that murder intruded on my thoughts. The lake is 700 feet deep in places. I pictured it in December with a gelid wind gathering indigo clouds in the midnight sky. Emmeline was stumbling across a meadow covered in an opalescent crust of ice that sloped down to the lake. Her breath was snatched from her in smoky wisps. The safety of the woods was mere steps away. However, a strong hand clamped down on her shoulder, yanking her backward. It would have been a crime to leave this scene out of my story.
Meanwhile, the Trümmelbach Falls, an UNESCO World Heritage site, left me in awe. The ten waterfalls twisting inside a mountain were a siren call to my soul. I succumbed to temptation and featured the falls because I knew that amid the violent crashing and sluicing of water that had chiseled away layers of stone a sinister confrontation awaited with a spy.
Even a soupçon of betrayal is cruel. I should feel guilty, but I can’t because it’s such delectable fun delving into the dark heart of intrigue. Will Emmeline and Gregory forgive me for my sins? Ah, that’s another story.
Readers, have you ever seen a real Faberge egg? When and where?
Daniella Bernett is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and the Crime Writers Association. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Journalism from St. John’s University. Lead Me Into Danger, Deadly Legacy, From Beyond The Grave, A Checkered Past, When Blood Runs Cold, Old Sins Never Die, Viper’s Nest of Lies and A Mind To Murder are the other books in the Emmeline Kirby-Gregory Longdon mystery series. She also is the author of two poetry collections, Timeless Allure and Silken Reflections. Daniella is currently working on Emmeline and Gregory’s next adventure. Visit www.daniellabernett.com or follow her on Facebook or on Goodreads.
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