Thursday, January 6, 2022

Thuesday Characters from Poisoned Tea #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #cozy mystery #Katherine Miller #Robespierre

 Of course Kathering and Robespierre, the Maine Coon Cat are featured

Edward Potter, the pastor of her church who persuades her to lead the search committee for a new organist.Good grief, Katherine, I hope he’s not planning to bite me again.”  Edward Potter, pastor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, glared at the cat.  His voice had risen to a high pitch.  “Whatever do you feed him?  He’s ever so much bigger than Bitsy.”

                The temptation to say my pet fed on pastors was strong.  I refrained and fought to control a grin that threatened to blossom.  Teasing Edward usually results in a lecture delivered in an indignant voice.

Judith - one of the committee members. The largest and loudest of the groups clustered around Judith Simpson.  She sat on one of the brocade-covered chairs near the front windows and looked like a queen on her throne.  The majority of the group was male.  No real surprise.  At one time or another, every male in the congregation, married or not, had flirted with Judith.  Each had held her attention until she decided to blow them off with cruel remarks.

                Her brown eyes slant, giving her an almost Oriental look.  Straight dark hair cut to shoulder length adds to the image.  As she spoke, her hands moved in exaggerated gestures.  A constant flow of kinetic energy crackled as she stroked the new tenor’s arm.  He smiled.

Martin Judith's husband. Martin ended the moment of seduction by handing her a cup of coffee.  Bearded, balding and overweight, he appeared to be a weak man, but beneath the surface lay a nurturing kind of strength.  Did he mother his daughter as well as he did his wife?

Beth  a young widow and committee member. Take Mrs. Miller home and join us.”

                Beth stiffened.  “Maybe.”

                “I’ll have a drink waiting for you.  Maybe you’ll find a man.”  She rubbed against Martin.  “Three years since your husband’s death.  I don’t know how you’ve survived.  Men are”

                Beth’s face flamed.  She reached for her jacket.  I put on my coat.  Judith, Martin and several other people strolled from the room.

                Beth shook her head.  “I don’t know why I let her get to me.”

Roger Brandon the organist hired. Our trip took us nearly a hundred miles north of the Hudson River town where we lived.  Roger Brandon was the first applicant.

                After our arrival in the small upstate town, we parked across the street from a large red brick church.  Martin, Judith and Ralph entered the church ahead of us.  Morning sunlight streamed through a series of narrow stained glass panels.  Beth followed me down the aisle to a seat in one of the center pews.  The rest of our group settled in the last row.

                Once the prelude began, I closed my eyes.  Gooseflesh rose on my arms.  Why was such a superb musician buried in this out-of-the-way place?  In that instant I knew we had to have him and I revised the salary Edward had mentioned


                When the last note of the postlude ended, I remained in my seat so filled with music I was unable to move.  Finally, I followed Beth to the vestibule where the other committee members waited.

Pete Duggan local cop and Katherine has known him since he was a child. I laughed.  “Don’t tell me there’s an available woman in town you don’t know.  She’s a widow.  She and her six year old son live in the old Perkin’s house.  Sings in the choir and is a nurse at the hospital.”

                “Haven’t had the honor.”  He grinned.  “Church business -- missing robes -- vanished communion wine?”

                “Nothing criminal.”  I studied him and wondered when he’d settle down. 

                “So what are you up to?”  he asked.

                “Acting as temporary choir director and heading the search committee for a new organist.”

                “Good for you.  Should keep you out of mischief.”

                “I’m crushed.”

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