Friday, August 29, 2014

Guest blog: Troublesome Apprentice

Kristina interviews Davy the driver. (Yes, even the driver is interesting.)
Kristina: As anyone who has read Liza O’Connor’s novels knows, she writes full bodied secondary characters worth knowing. Today, I’m interviewing Davy, the driver. Welcome Davy, have a seat.
Davy: *removed hat and sits* Thank you ma’am. It’s a pleasure to be here, but I should tell you in advance, I won’t be talking out of turn about Xavier or Victor.
Kristina: Actually, I want to know about you. I understand you’ve spent time in prison.
Davy nodded: I was falsely accused of a robbery I didn’t do.
Kristina: But you were a thief were you not?
Davy: *sighs heavily* I had a family back then. A man has to care for his family. I was an honest cabbie working fifteen hours a day to put food on the table and pay the rent. We lived on the East End. In 1866 another cholera outbreak occurred and both my wife and son got sick. They were dying before my eyes, I needed money for a doctor, so I returned to being a cracksman, a skill my pa taught me.
Kristina: What’s that?
Davy: I broke into the safe of a man who had more than he needed. I only took ten shillings, enough to buy the medicine and pay a doctor to care for Anne and David. I doubt the bloke ever noticed the missing coins.
Kristina: Did it save your family?
Davy: *shakes his head* I got snagged on my way home that night by a bizzie.
Kristina: What’s that?
Davy: A policeman that sticks his nose where it don’t belong. A bank had been robbed and they were looking for someone to pin it on. When they discovered my tools of the trade, they laid the crime on me. I was sent to Pentonville Prison for twenty years.
Kristina: What happened to your wife and son?
Davy: For twenty years I wondered and worried about that. We weren’t allowed visitors. When I was finally released I went straight to our old tenement building, but the people living in our room didn’t know where my wife and son had gone. Then I saw my wife’s teacups on their shelf. They were her pride and joy. She would have never left without them. I knocked on the other doors until I found someone who had lived there twenty years before. The old woman gave me the news I feared. They had died of cholera two days after I was taken away. We need to talk about something else. *rubs his face with his sleeve.*
Kristina: Of course. How do you like working for the greatest sleuth in England.
Davy: *smiles* I love it. He’s the best man I’ve ever known. He gave me a job when no one else would, and he’s always done right by me. And recently, he said I was his family and when I got too old to drive, he’d have to take care of me instead of me taking care of him.
Kristina: He must pay you well, for that is a very fine suit you are wearing.
Davy *chuckles* The suit is Vic’s doing. He’s a young gentleman that Xavier recently hired as a secretary. He says my appearance reflects upon the office, so I need to dress accordingly. Then he took me to his tailor and had the fellow make me a double worsted wool suit. I think the world of the young man.
Kristina: Don’t get too attached. I’ve heard Xavier can’t keep a secretary for more than a week.
Davy: That was true ‘til Vic came onboard. He’s a cut above by all measures. Smart as a whip, not afraid to stand his ground, and as thoughtful as they come. I’m thinking the boy’s a keeper. Before me Xavier went through a driver a day, sometimes two.
Kristina: So your life is good now?
Davy *brow furrows* Mostly so. But to speak the truth, I worry a great deal about Victor. Xavier calls him a trouble magnet, and then tells me to keep him safe if he’s not around. You’ve no idea how hard that particular job is! The boy is constantly hell bent to save somebody with no regard to his own life. I’ve aged ten years since he came to work for us.
Kristina: How long has he been working for Xavier?
Davy: Five days going on a hundred years. And I best be getting back before the boy finds more trouble to get into. Xavier would never recover if something happened to Vic. It’s been a pleasure meeting you ma’am. If you ever find yourself in trouble, be sure to give Xavier Thorn a visit. There is no better sleuth in all of England.
Kristina: I will certainly keep that in mind.  *waves goodbye*. 
I rather like their driver. Shame his past was so awful, but thankfully things are better for him now.  Let’s check up on Vic and Xavier now….

The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice
By Liza O’Connor
Cases to be Resolved:
The Key to Aunt Maddy’s Death
The Missing Husband of Mrs. Wimple
The Disappearing Scarlet Nun
The Clever Butcher’s Wife
The Rescue of Lady Anne

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.

One glance at the statue and Davy tensed and stared at Vic with worried eyes. Before he tried to pull her from the house, she hurried to the back wall and peeked behind the paintings. A soft noise made her turn around. Davy had not only found the safe in the base of the statue, but opened it, as well. 
With a small battery-powered torch she had acquired from her Oxford professor, she studied the documents. Many were letters from Conrad demanding ‘proof of vice’ for various people. The tone of the letters made her appreciate Xavier all the more, for barely a sentence in the letters did not contain some form of insult or abuse. 

Unfortunately, she found no bill of sale for the horses. She tried to put the papers back but Davy took them from her and placed them ‘just so’ in the safe. Evidently, he had taken the effort to remember how they laid before the rifling began. She smiled at him for his cleverness, but his grim expression never altered.

Even when they had safely slipped away and returned to the office, his expression remained bleak and his heart seemed heavy with regret.

“Davy, what’s wrong?”
“I swore to Father Daniels I would never return to thievery, and until tonight, I have faithfully kept my promise.”
“You have still kept your promise. You didn’t steal a thing. You only prevented an apprentice investigator from getting into trouble.” She took his hands into hers. “I would have failed at my mission without you, Davy. Burglary isn’t as easy as I thought. I learned so much from you tonight.”
“I was actually feeling better until your last statement.”
“You should. You did a good deed and you haven’t broken your word to either the Father or Xavier. You did not steal anything and you kept me safe.”
“Listen to me, Victor. Burglary is a dangerous profession. If you break into the homes of evil men, the probability of being shot is all too real.”
She nodded solemnly. “I won’t do it again, until I’m better trained.”
Davy held his head as if in pain. “I’m taking you home now. I can’t take no more tonight.”

The Troublesome Apprentice
Read Free With Kindle Unlimited

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.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)
Ghost LoverTwo 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)
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.

Investigate these sites:

Don’t forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Liza O'Connor said...

Sorry for the late arrival Oil Heating guy spent the whole morning asphyxiating me, so I stayed in breathable room.
I now have hot water. So let the fun begin. Let me see who I can invite over....

Melissa Keir said...

I'm so sorry about the driver. I wish his wife and son hadn't died. I hope he got the cups back at least. Do you think he's going to get his own happily ever after?

Liza O'Connor said...

You mean a romance? No. Davy's a grumpy old man and he still loves his wife who died. No, he just loves Marybell- the horse, Xavier and Vic. But not romantically.

Now Jacko, Tubs and Gregory all get romantic loves. Who is Tubs you ask. He shows up in the next book.

Post a Comment