A St. Louis Blues Mysteries
Release: May 2012
Editor: Ellee Braun
Line editor: Kim Cresswell
Cover Designer: Delilah K. Stephans
TOCCATA is about the city of St. Louis, with wealthy residents who personify the decadence evident in their community. About how inherited wealth carries with it the danger of being abused, to the detriment of the abusers and those with whom they come in contact.
But St. Louis is also a city with a heart and an amazing musical heritage including jazz and classical, and a nearly constant humid climate that spurs its inhabitants to express their basest instincts even while rising to lofty levels of achievement. It’s about sex and privilege, a sense of entitlement, and the dangers inherent in them.
TOCCATA is about the unlikely duo of gifted musician and clinical psychologist, Sera Moreland, and rogue police detective, Daniel Quinn, who are drawn together to solve the mysterious abduction of a young girl; a pairing that carries them far beyond their wildest dreams.
TOCCATA is about abduction, torture, murder, and love.
Sera giggled and put her hand on his arm so he could escort her into the establishment. For the first time, he was glad he had one decent suit. Having this lady on his arm would have been disastrous in more casual clothing. Quinn stood tall and proud as they were escorted to a table where a distinguished-looking gentleman greeted them.
“Good evening, Sera. You look lovely as always.” Biscayne’s focus traveled from the ravishing beauty to the tall man beside her. “And I’m pleased to meet you, Mr. Quinn.”
Dan smiled in surprise. He’d not anticipated that the man would know his name yet. Before he could speak, Sera said, “Dan, I’d like you to meet Winthrop Biscayne, our benefactor.”
“How do you do, Mr. Biscayne?”
“Very well, thank you. And I’d be honored if you would call me Win. Under the circumstances, I believe we’ll be more relaxed if we dispense with formal names.”
Dan grinned. At least this man didn’t beat around the bush with silly formalities. “And you may call me Dan, Win. I’m pleased to meet you.”
Sera said, “This is the gentleman I told you about on the phone earlier, Win. A detective in the city’s homicide division who comes well recommended for our purposes.”
Win smiled. “Well, then, why don’t we sit at table and enjoy the evening repast? We can discuss eventualities while we dine.”
“Sounds good. If their food lives up to the aroma, I’m in for a rare treat.” Dan helped Sera into her seat between them.
“Rare, yes,” Win intoned. “The way an excellent steak should be served, in my estimation.”
Dan noted the uncertainty of Sera’s facial expression. “Perhaps not so rare in the case of a lady’s taste. What do you think, Sera?”
She gave him a reassuring smile. “Medium for me, thank you. I enjoy red meat at times, but in this day when many women have become vegetarians, I prefer the blood in my nourishment be a little less obvious.”
Quinn couldn’t help noting the fleeting discomfort on Biscayne’s face when the word blood was spoken. Was this man squeamish? He didn’t seem the type, and he had been the one to bring up the subject. Though it never slept, his sense of discovery went on full alert. He needed to learn all he could about this Winthrop Biscayne, right away.
Sera had to interrupt the conversation to take a call on her cell. A hint of annoyance flashed across her face as she spoke softly into the instrument and closed it. She said nothing, so he assumed it was work-related and turned back to answer another of Biscayne’s questions.
As the conversation turned to more mundane issues, Quinn quietly scoped the other man out. Well north of six feet, slightly bulky in the mid-section but definitely not obese, Biscayne seemed more athletic than Dan would have anticipated.
Probably works out regularly.
But his eyes told a different story. Fortyish, with eighty-year-old eyes, this was a man to keep at bay.
About Pat Dale
After many years as a professional musician, Dale turned to the pen to craft more than a dozen novels (to date). Returning to his native Missouri, he settled near Kansas City to enjoy the scenic beauty of America’s heart-land.
Using musical rhythms and values, Dale writes in a style some call poetic prose. Whether romance or dark drama is your cup of tea, his endearing (and sometimes frightening) characters will lead you into worlds you might otherwise never experience.So sit back, pick up a Pat Dale novel, and whisk yourself off for a few hours of fantasy.