Investigating unnatural deaths in 1920’s East End London.
The Last Post
This FREE novella is a prequel to the first novel in the May Keaps series.
It is April 1918. May Keaps is a twenty-year-old ambulance driver stationed at The Front. As if transporting hideously wounded soldiers, sleep deprivation and constant shell bombardment weren’t enough, she becomes unwittingly entangled in the untimely death of a young captain, Tobias Fairfax.
Newly-arrived in Northern France he was found with a discharged pistol by his side; rumours on the battlefield were that it wasn’t an accident and he had taken the coward’s way out, committing suicide.
Whatever the explanation, Tobias left a dangerous legacy that puts May in the line of fire. But she is not the only one with a reason to want to uncover the truth. And in a world where life can be extinguished in the blink of an eye, May might regret her search for answers…
The Last Post is the haunting introduction to the May Keaps series.
The Last Post was previously published as Faith’s Reward
What readers are saying:
“The Last Post can be read in a coffee break but the contents will stay in your heart a lot longer. Fabulous writing style and a recommended read.”
“What a great short story set amid the confusion of battle and the terror of trench warfare during World War I. Telling, enlightening and a human story as old as life, recounted at time of immense stress told with passion but nothing sweet and dreamy here.”
“This packs quite the punch and really sets the tone for what promises to be a rather exciting new series. How the author managed to fit so much realism and emotional heartache into a mere 25 pages is utterly beyond me.”
“This novella by BK Duncan is a triumph of writing, she has taken a story that is exciting and very moving and formed a short but utterly compelling read. I could feel the noise and chaos of war in the pages of this finely tuned novella.”
“For a novella, this book has a big presence. BK has for me captured the despair, fear, sombreness and fear of life in the war, with vivid descriptions.”
“The Last Post is fast paced and filled with action. The writing is so vivid that I could picture the bombs dropping and the ground shaking.”
“Skilfully written, heart rending and you’ll fall in love with the lead character and want to read the other books.”
It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.
The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.
May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.
As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.
What readers are saying:
“I’ve been listening to the audible download of this book and I have recommended it to several friends. Great storytelling with lots of twists and turns – can’t stop listening.”
“The plot in this book is great, it is clearly very well researched and reading it makes you feel as though you are there with them. The descriptions of what it was like in 1920s London are superb.”
“This is a well-written, complex and multi-layered mystery. The historical setting is really brought to life and works like a charm.”
“This book is not one to be devoured, there is so much wonderful literature on every page, you need to read, digest, breathe as it is a stunningly impressive novel, that is thought-provoking, and plenty of mystery that gripped me and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the world through May’s eyes.”
“It’s a highly atmospheric novel that uses all of your senses to envelop you in the richness and diversity of London in the ’20s, and the attitudes of the day.”
“All in all this is a wonderful book with plenty of mystery, and one I would highly recommend to lovers of historical crime fiction. It was expertly researched and well written.”
“This is a cracking story, a superb backdrop and an outstanding new woman on the block for solving crimes.”
“Foul Trade is a lively, stimulating, and compelling story of a woman in a man’s world, who is brave, unstoppable, and way ahead of her time.”
“May is very much a modern woman of her day. She is an independent and determined young lady who knows what she wants in life. She reminded me of a younger version of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple.”
“If you’re looking for a really good historical drama that will envelop you in the story, then Foul Trade should be your next read.”
Smuggling. Prostitution. Murder.
London. 1920 and coroner’s officer May Keaps is tasked with solving the mystery that surrounds the death of a young boy, found drowned in the Thames.
But was it murder or an accident?
May knows that when children go missing, the reason is often linked to money but she is in danger of underestimating the corrupting influence of power . . .
On streets where poverty and exploitation walk hand-in-hand everyone has a price. And some are more valuable dead than alive. But who is pulling the strings?
May must journey into the dark underbelly of London to find the answers.
What readers are saying:
“It is endearing, classy, exciting read, with a killer plot that made putting the book down virtually impossible. The tension builds up as the story progresses and kept me entertained to the very last page.”
“The characters are great as always as I do love the writing style in this series, it is such an easy read, well paced and well researched.”
“Historical mystery at its best! Thoroughly enjoyed watching May track down the leads and find the truth.”
“The dialogue is particularly striking as the author uses the vernacular and slang of the place and time to build her characters.”
“Another good read with May being one of the most likeable and unlikely heroines. This book delves into dark territory but does so without glorifying the gore. Highly recommended.”
“May Keaps is a great character as she is a woman in a man’s world and is up against the snobbery of men thinking she is less than adequate to be doing her job.”
“This is a brilliant book and if you like your thrillers and mysteries with a more historical setting then I urge you to give this a go. Great characters, great story. What’s not to enjoy?”
“This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers of historical fiction, crime, mystery and murder. It is a great read with really good atmospheric historical content and a great storyline.”
“BK Duncan really does bring alive the grit and grimness of life in London within the settings of these books, such atmospheric reads that are doused in darkness and mystery.”
“I just love not just the stories that BK Duncan creates but the whole package. The dialogue is just superb with phrases and accents flowing off the pages surrounding me and dragging me back in time.”
You may also be interested in the Rhythms in Crime Dance Quartet or Walls of Silence