I’m so excited to be a part of The Green Bicycle Mystery blog tour because I get to share an extract of the book with you today – the extract was hand picked by the author and he even provided the context for it.
When I read the blurb of the book, I was so intrigued (as I’m sure you will be too) because we’re not just reading about a murder, we’re solving it! And if that wasn’t exciting enough, this is not a fiction novel, readers, this is True Crime! When I first read the book extract provided, the book climbed it’s way up my TBR pile so expect a review to follow in the near future.
But for now, let get right to it…
Don’t just read about a murder… solve it.
The first in a unique collection of books. Each one tells the story of an unsolved crime in an evocative and compelling way, it presents fresh evidence, exposes the strengths and weaknesses of past theories and then asks the reader to decide the outcome.
The series begins with the tragic case of Bella Wright. In a lonely lane running through rural Leicestershire in 1919, a solitary bicycle lies on its side, its metal frame catching the glow of the fading evening light. The back wheel slowly turns about its axle, producing a soft clicking; a rhythmic sound, soothing like the ticking of a study clock.
Next to the bicycle, lying at an angle across the road, is a young woman. She is partly on her back, partly on her left side, with her right hand almost touching the mudguard of the rear wheel. Her legs rest on the roadside verge, where fronds of white cow parsley and pink rosebay rise above luxuriant summer foliage. On her head sits a wide-brimmed hat, daintily finished with a ribbon and bow. She is dressed in a pastel blouse and long skirt underneath a light raincoat, the pockets of which contain an empty purse and a box of matches. The blood-flecked coat tells a story…
Although each book is perfectly self-contained and offers the author’s conclusion, there is a website (coldcasejury.com) for those who wish to share their own verdicts and opinions, making these the first truly interactive crime tales.
Context for the extract provided by the author:
One theory about how Bella Wright died is that she was shot accidentally by a crow shooter. The following extract dramatically reconstructs how this might have happened.
Extract from mid-way through CHAPTER 7: SHOOTING CROWS.
9:10pm. The sound of gunﬁre sent a scattering of birds into the air. “Damn!” exclaimed the solitary youth wearing an army jacket and heavy boots. It was the second time he had missed his target – a crow perched high in a beech tree. He was not a good shot. In fact, it was the ﬁrst time he had handled a riﬂe, let alone ﬁred one. The youth had pestered his older brother on numerous occasions to take him shooting, but he had always been turned down, the riﬂe staying securely locked away in a trunk at the end of his bed. The previous week, the youth had discovered the hiding place of the key in his brother’s bedroom: it was kept behind a novel on the bookshelf. Then it was a matter of waiting until his brother next stayed overnight with his friend in Market Harborough for the youth to seize his opportunity. And the riﬂe.
The joy shooter skirted by the edge of the cornﬁeld until he reached a stile. The adjacent ﬁeld was a meadow of shin-high grass with a sheep trough near its centre. Spurred on by the thought of shooting a rabbit, the youth clambered over. It was not long before he saw several white tails bobbing up and down. He lay down by the metal trough and rested his gun on one of its sides to steady his aim. The dark clouds in the west parted, allowing the sinking sun to bathe the meadow in a golden glow. He noticed a crow land on top of a ﬁeld gate some 25 yards away, a little to his right. The gate, situated on the northern boundary of the meadow, ﬂanked by high hedgerows, provided entry to and from the Via Devana road, was the only gap: the rest of the road was invisible to anyone in the meadow. Having missed two crows already, the youth set his sights on settling unﬁnished business. He carefully lined up the stationary bird in his sights. His ﬁnger tightened around the trigger.
As Bella neared the ﬁeld gate, the crow squawked. She glanced to her left. The shooter pulled the trigger.
In an instant, the bullet entered the left side of the crow, exited, and continued its trajectory. Bella died instantly, the bullet’s force pushing her head back, creating sufﬁcient momentum for her to fall backwards onto the road, her legs sprawled on the verge. Her bicycle crashed to the ground, its wheel pointing in the direction of travel towards Leicester.
Book Title: The Green Bicycle Mystery: Cold Case Jury Collection
Author: Antony M. Brown
Publisher: Mirror Books
Now, that’s only one theory, I’m desperate to know the others! If you enjoyed the above extract, this book is available to buy from: Amazon UK
About the author:
Antony M. Brown is an award-winning essayist, former magazine editor-in-chief and member of the Crime Writers’ Association. He published several Cold Case Jury e-books – true crime mysteries in which the reader is invited to deliver the verdict on what they believe might have happened – before signing a four book deal with Mirror Books in January 2017.
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