Checkmate is the fourth standalone novel in the Harry Starke series of mysteries.
Angela Hartwell lay dead in the shallow waters beside the golf course. There was not a mark on her, yet she had been strangled. How could that be?
Once again, it’s up to Harry Starke to find out. The investigation takes him into a world he’s very familiar with, a world of affluence, privilege, and corruption.
To solve the mystery, he must deal with three murders, a beautiful used car dealer, her lovely twin sisters, and a crooked banker. Not to mention Burke and Hare, two crazy repo men who will stop at nothing to protect their employer’s interests. There’s also the matter of an ingenious, sadistic killer. But nothing is ever quite what it seems….
Harry Starke is a hard-boiled private detective, an ex-cop, a tough guy from the right side of the tracks with finely tuned senses, good instincts, and friends in high places. He’s single, successful, well educated, and yes, he will hurt you if he needs to.
By Blair Howard
Judge Strange was teeing his ball when we heard a shout.
“Hey Harry! Over here!” It was Greg Holloway. He was standing by his cart on the right side of the seventh green, in the rough close to the river’s edge, waving both arms over his head. I figured he must have put his ball in the water. I waved back, then turned to watch the judge make his shot.
“Harry! Harry Starke!”
What the hell? I turned again. He was still waving his arms.
“C’mere, Harry. Now. We’ve got a body in the water!”
I turned to the others. “Did he say ‘body?’”
“I think he did, “August said. “Better go take a look.”
We ran to the carts, threw our clubs into the bags, and raced off down the fairway toward the still-waving Greg Holloway.
“Over there.” He pointed as he ran toward the water’s edge.
“Hey. Whoa,” I yelled. “Don’t go down there, Greg. Stay away. Don’t disturb anything.”
The woman was just a few feet from the riverbank, lying on her back in six inches of water. She looked peaceful, but there was no doubt about it: she was dead.
At first glance she appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She was wearing dark blue shorts and a white, long-sleeve shirt over a black bra, and a wrist watch—no shoes. From where I was standing, there didn’t look to be a mark on her. No cuts or bruises. Her skin, a dirty gray color, told a story all its own. Oh hell, what a way to go…. Hang on. I think I know her.
Blair Howard is from a small town in England, near Stratford-upon-Avon, on the edge of the English Cotswolds. He is Kentucky Colonel, an honor bestowed upon him in 2008 by the then Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Steven L. Beshear. Until 2015, he wrote sweeping historical epics, and is the author of five historical novels. In July of 2015 he decided to try his hand at writing mystery novels, thus we have Harry Starke. The first in the series, Harry Starke, was released in mid-September 2015. The second novel, Two for the Money, was released October 19 the same year, Hill House, in mid-December 2015, and Checkmate in February 2016, and there are more to come.
Blair is the author of more than 40 books and more than 4,500 magazine, newspaper, and web articles. His work has appeared in many national and international publications, including Delta’s Sky Magazine, PHOTOgraphic magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Walking Magazine, Petersen’s Hunting Magazine, The Boston Herald, The Detroit Free-Press, The Anchorage Times and many more.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHQS30