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Excerpt of Murder At Kildare Mensa by Clare O'Beara

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Mensa Mystery #4
Author Self-Published
September 2013
On Sale: August 27, 2013
Featuring: Cara Cassidy; Mike Fraser; Garda Detective Ricky Norton
ISBN: 099263864X
EAN: 9780992638641
Kindle: B00E79D9K8
e-Book
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Romance Suspense

Also by Clare O'Beara:

A Dog For Lockdown, September 2020
e-Book
Dogs Of Every Day: New Edition, July 2020
e-Book
A Dozen Dogs Or So: New Edition, July 2020
e-Book
A Pony For Quarantine, June 2020
e-Book
Dining Out On Planet Mercury, August 2017
e-Book
Murder Against The Clock, September 2016
e-Book
Dining Out with the Gas Giants, September 2015
e-Book
Rodeo Finn, November 2014
e-Book
Show Jumping Team, September 2014
e-Book
The Prisoner In The Tower, September 2014
e-Book
Dining Out With The Ice Giants, September 2014
e-Book
The Prisoner In The Tower: Short Story & Big Cat Bones, September 2014
e-Book
Murder at Irish Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Murder At Scottish Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Murder At Kildare Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Dining Out Around The Solar System, September 2013
e-Book
Murder At Wicklow Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Murder at Dublin Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Silks And Sins, August 2013
e-Book

Excerpt of Murder At Kildare Mensa by Clare O'Beara

"I saw a car parked down the road in a gateway with what looked like a TV crew," said Cara.

Tiernan sighed.

"Anyway," he said, "come and see the mares."

There were five mares, bay, brown and chestnut, and three were heavily in foal. They came rambling up the field when Tiernan shook a bucket of nuts which he'd left prepared for them; one mare was putting her ears back, shaking her head and showing her teeth to the others to ensure that she got first go at the nuts.

"How has all the fuss affected them?" wondered Cara, studying them for lameness or sweet–itch as they milled for position near the wooden fence. The ground here was poached by constant hooves, so this must be an accustomed spot for them.

"They were interested, can you believe it? Kept coming up here and hanging around near the house to watch people coming and going. I believe they miss Dad though. He had a regular time to call them up so he could check them over and they come up even though he isn't here."

"Of course they were interested," said Cara, trying to smile at him though her heart was touched. "Probably wish life had so much excitement all the time. And of course they miss their owner. They're Thoroughbreds, and that means they're intelligent. Aren't they beautiful girls?"

"You say you have Thoroughbreds too?"

"Two mares, retired at grass. They were bred for hurdling but I trained them for showjumping." Cara extended a hand to an enquiring nose. The mare sniffed her delicately across the fence and regarded her from a liquid brown eye. Gently the girl rubbed her fingers further up the wide brown face and scratched around the eye. The mare responded by leaning into her hand with pleasure. Horses always had flies irritating their eyes during summer, and were glad of a scratch.

"She likes you," said Tiernan happily. "I don't know their names and I can't tell them apart very much. We didn't grow up here, we lived near Kildare town. We had a pony all right on an acre but I didn't go to competitions. And we lost interest, in secondary school. But Dad liked horses and he got into it later when he had finished putting us through university. They came out here when Dad retired and sold his business. Mam died seven years ago – breast cancer – but Dad had made friends and kept involved in local matters, so we didn't worry about him being isolated here."

If the man had been living in Kildare town he'd still be alive, thought Cara. That was, if it really had been a chance break–in.

Another mare pushed her way closer to the newcomer and Cara spoke gently as she allowed herself to be sniffed, then with a careful hand she patted the mare's chestnut neck and untangled a long dry dock stem from her shaggy, unkempt mane. The mare stamped loudly to shake off a persistent horsefly. Her breath smelt sweetly of grass and horse nuts.

"There's a good girl. That's better isn't it?"

"Their feet need trimming," Tiernan noticed.

"Yes. What business did your father run?"

"A hardware store on the edge of town. One of those places that always had trade, but it was on the brink of being too big or too small. You know, if it was a little smaller he needn't pay for one of the staff, and if he could have bought the space to expand he would have carried more stock and bought in greater bulk for bigger discounts. Mam kept the books. As Dad got older he stopped talking about expanding, especially as the two of us were not going to come in with him."

"No point forcing you," said the girl in total agreement. "Has your sister been in London for long?"

"Since she finished at Trinity. She works in insurance now. She hasn't been here for a few years."

"At least you were still in the country," consoled the girl.

"I didn't visit as often as I should have," mused Tiernan. "I still don't know whether or not I'm glad I was here on Thursday. It gave me more of a shock I think because I'd seen Dad so recently. And the guards keep coming asking me more questions that don't seem to make any sense. They haven't asked Eilis very much at all. Well, she wasn't here, was she?"

"I should tell you," said Cara. "A detective phoned me asking about you visiting Belfast with Mensa and how long you'd been coming to meetings and such. I don't know what he was after."

"He's asked me that lot too," said Tiernan with a faint smile. "Mainly I've been answering ones like, what time of night did Dad lock the back door? And why hadn't he a dog? And then they throw in something like, do you have any relations in the North?"

Cara had queries of her own, like what were you doing here on Thursday, and what time was your father killed, but she pushed them firmly away and swatted a horsefly. Not her business.

Excerpt from Murder At Kildare Mensa by Clare O'Beara
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