My friend Liza O'Connor has a new release out, and a graphic-a-licious post for your viewing pleasure. Without further ado, I'll cede the spotlight.
What’s in a Name? by Liza O'Connor
In The Troublesome Apprentice, Vic tracks a boy that has been spying on Xavier’s office back to the Bow Runners Office. Later, when Vic’s sister called Bow Runners her competition, Vic’s temper flares:
“They are amateurs compared to Xavier. Just because they stole their name from the Bow Street Runners doesn’t mean they acquired their talent.”
By the 19th century, the real Bow Street Runners no longer existed. The work they did was and is performed by the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) of Scotland Yard.
The original Bow Street Runners were formed in 1749 by Henry Fielding, a man known for his fairness and ability to met out justice. (He was also a novelist). He hired 6-8 honest constables to assist him in stopping by crime by apprehending the real criminal instead anyone who looked like a criminal. (Sources conflict on the number, unless he had 8 constables but only six were honest men…) His office was on Bow Street, thus his men were known as Bow Street Runners.
When Henry retired as magistrate in 1754, his blind brother John took over. He was nicknamed Blind Beak and was said to be able to identify 300 criminals by voice alone. He convinced the government to partially fund their work.
Later, John’s successor decided horses should do the running instead of the men. Thus, in 1805, Richard Ford created a horse patrol known as the Bow Street Horse Patrol. He also armed his men with a truncheon, pistol, and cutlass and focused them upon eliminating the annoying and dangerous highwaymen that made safe travel nearly impossible without your own retinue of armed men. His men were so successful that the highwayman almost became an extinct species.
To reward the ‘Robin Redbreasts’ (the patrolman’s nickname) for their outstanding work, the government disbanded them.
And the highwaymen returned.
However, their procedures for policing and investigating became the foundations that would eventually form Scotland Yard.
And then there is the extraordinary Xavier Thorn & his troublesome Apprentice…
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic, Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice
By Liza O’Connor
While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn. Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist.
As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.
“Heed my words, Victor, for if you disobey me tonight, I will torture you each day forthwith and you will never be allowed to accompany me on another mission.”
His dark eyes narrowed as he studied her, evidently trying to determine if she intended to obey his orders. “Consider it a test of your ability to follow my instructions and do not dare fail.”
“I won’t.” Vic ensured her response sounded less surly and more sincere in tone.
Xavier placed his hand on her back. “Good lad. Now, if Inspector Stone received my note, his men are probably watching the exterior of your house. When this man…, let us call him Mr. GewGaw, arrives, they will no doubt insist upon sneaking up the stairs to stand ready outside the door. I’ve forewarned your impudent butler, lest we have a commotion. However, the key reason I mention this, Victor, is to warn you to remain in the closet. If Inspector Stone burst into the room, he might mistake you for the murderer. You will thus remain hidden until I retrieve you. Do you understand?”
With a sigh, Vic nodded her head.
“Good. Now not another word or you will find yourself in hell.”
She wanted to say threats were not necessary, but she feared her protest might toss her into the promised hell, since he had said ‘not another word’.
Vic learned much about her new profession over the next four hours.
Lesson one: Waiting for a criminal to show might rank the most tedious and boring occupation in the world.
Lesson two: Remaining perfectly still, stuffed into a dress closet for hours, caused muscle cramps that hurt like bloody hell.
Lesson three: The desire to sniffle can reach a level of mental anguish in less than an hour.
Lesson four: One should always go to the water closet before beginning a surveillance mission.
Lesson five: If not for the mental torture of sniffle prevention, the pain of muscle cramps, and great need for a toilet, a person waiting to assist would surely fall asleep, for the body is accustomed to sleeping when it’s dark and nothing is going on.
Lesson six: The profession of banking has its good points and should be reassessed.
A soft bumping noise distracted Vic from her list. At first, she suspected Xavier had dozed off and fallen onto the floor. However, as further noise sounded, including the breaking of glass, Vic knew their plan had come to fruition. Soon, they would have Aunt Maddy’s killer.
Vic listened as the window opened followed by a great deal of huffing and wheezing. Finally, the sound of feet thudded onto the floor. Drawers opened and closed while someone systematically searched Aunt Maddy’s room. As time went on, Vic questioned the wisdom of her hiding place. Soon, the man would open the closet to search it as well. Vic readied herself to leap out, deciding surprise would be her best defense.
She could hear the man breathing outside the closet and readied herself for attack. Before the door actually opened, the lights in the room came on and Xavier spoke with a deadly calmness that sent chills down her spine. “Lost something?”
I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio.
Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.
She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
Books by Liza
A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
Other Humorous Works:
Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)
Ghost Lover—Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)