You all know how much I enjoy historical fiction and mysteries, so I’m so pleased to present this guest post from the author, Cindy Anstey, about what great unsolved mystery Cindy would want to solve!
The Hummingbird Dagger
1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.
Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.
With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.
What great, unsolved mystery would you want to solve?
Great, unsolved mysteries are not as plentiful as they once were. They now understand how the Ancient Egyptians moved the massive stone blocks to construct of the Pyramids of Giza and that all the Romanovs were, indeed, killed in the Russian Revolution. However, there are a few still unanswered questions: did the city of Atlantis exist and if so where was it located? Did Richard III kill the two princes in the tower of London in 1485? What caused Malaysian Flight 370 to go off course when it disappeared in 2014? And what about Amelia Earhart; what happened?
If I were granted the ability to irrefutably solve one of the great mysteries, I would like to know more about Jack the Ripper, who was active in London in 1888. I would not just want to know his name but the reason he killed at least five and as many as twelve women.
Recent DNA has pointed the police to a long-standing suspect, Aaron Kosminski, but there is a chain of custody issue with the evidence. A scarf/shawl of one of his victims provided a near match to one of Kosminski’s relatives; Kosminski was a Polish barber, living in the Whitechapel area at the time of the murders. However, this scarf had sat in the bottom of a box in someone’s house for 130 years before being tested. There was no paper trail recording the custody of the scarf—from crime to testing.
Even if Kosminski was Jack the Ripper, questions remain. Why did he butcher these women in such a vicious fashion? Why did he suddenly stop killing? How did he choose his victims? What was his story and motivation? Did he feel remorse? If it was Kosminski, we know he was incarcerated in an asylum. But what was his diagnosis at the time and how would a modern psychiatrist assess him?
Studying solved and unsolved mysteries within the same century as my books is extremely informative in learning police procedures, available technology of the time and people’s attitudes; they provide a social commentary about the perceived significance of motivation. Fortunately my latest book, The Hummingbird Dagger does not leave the reader guessing or puzzling about the culprit or the motivation by the end.
- Print copy of The Hummingbird Dagger
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About the Author
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.