The Sacred Well Murders

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Author Susan Rowland’s first mystery novel!

A simple job turns deadly when Mary Wandwalker, novice detective, is hired to chaperone a young American, Rhiannon, to the Oxford University Summer School on the ancient Celts.  Worried by a rhetoric of blood sacrifice, Mary and her operatives, Caroline, and Anna, attend a sacrifice at a sacred well. They discover that those who fail to individuate their gods become possessed by them.

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Author Susan Rowland’s first mystery novel!

A simple job turns deadly when Mary Wandwalker, novice detective, is hired to chaperone a young American, Rhiannon, to the Oxford University Summer School on the ancient Celts.  Worried by a rhetoric of blood sacrifice, Mary and her operatives, Caroline, and Anna, attend a sacrifice at a sacred well. They discover that those who fail to individuate their gods become possessed by them.

For the so-called Reborn Celts, who run the summer school, have been infiltrated by white supremacists. Could their immersion in myth be less a symbol for psychic wholeness and more a clue of their intent to engage in terrorist violence? Who better to penetrate their secret rites than an apparently harmless woman of a certain age?

Mary agrees to spy on the Reborn Celts, then learns, to her horror, of Anna’s passionate affair with the chief suspect, Joe Griffith. With Griffith also the object of Rhiannon’s obsession, Mary realizes too late that that these 21st century Celts mean murder.

The Reborn Celts draw Mary and her friends into three rites to summon their gods: at an Oxford sacred well, by the Thames on the way to London, and in Celtic London, where bloodshed will restore one of the Thames’ ‘lost rivers.’

Before the fatal night of the summer solstice, Caroline and Anna race to London seeking Mary, who has been kidnapped. Will she end as the crone sacrifice? Or will the three women re-make their detecting family, so re-constituting a pattern of archetypal feminine compassion?

 

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1: Mary Wandwalker is distracted

CHAPTER 2: Miss Wandwalker is warned

CHAPTER 3: Rhiannon North arrives in Oxford

CHAPTER 4: Joe Griffi this inspired

CHAPTER 5: Fearful and angry

CHAPTER 6: Skirmishes with Rhiannon

CHAPTER 7: First Rite: Initiation part one

CHAPTER 8: Party games

CHAPTER 9: Mary Wandwalker’s big mistake

CHAPTER 10: First Rite: Initiation part two

CHAPTER 11: One of London’s lost rivers

CHAPTER 12: A delivery of cakes

CHAPTER 13: The Celtic Summer School does a field trip

CHAPTER 14: Caroline and Anna

CHAPTER 15: Second Rite: Immersion

CHAPTER 16: Emails from the Second Rite of immersion

CHAPTER 17: Oxford and a confession

CHAPTER 18: Mr. Jeffreys is furious

CHAPTER 19: Anna

CHAPTER 20: No more Depth Enquiry Agency?

CHAPTER 21: A torc between celts

CHAPTER 22: Local experts and incompetent detectives

CHAPTER 23: Spellbound

CHAPTER 24: Back to school

CHAPTER 25: The Other/World of Barin

CHAPTER 26: The disappearance of Mary Wandwalker

CHAPTER 27: Going to college?

CHAPTER 28: Kidnapped

CHAPTER 29: Caroline has trouble sleeping

CHAPTER 30: Return of the golden torc

CHAPTER 33: By the Boathouses, Oxford

CHAPTER 32: The dream

CHAPTER 33: The prisoner

CHAPTER 34: Celtic London

CHAPTER 35: Tower of rain

CHAPTER 36: Mr. Jeffreys at the Archives

CHAPTER 37: Death by water

CHAPTER 38: The rescuers

CHAPTER 39: Third Rite: the crone in the wood

CHAPTER 40: In another part of the forest

CHAPTER 41: Solstice late

CHAPTER 42: Solstice night

CHAPTER 43: A trip to the Thames

CHAPTER 44: The sacred river

CHAPTER 45: Rising from the river

CHAPTER 46: While you were sleeping

CHAPTER 47: Two visitors

EPILOGUE: The wife of Lir

 

 

 

 

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