The Second Death
Pattrick Clayton is a farmer in a somnolent Lancaster town, affable, charming, loved by all. Since his father died, and since he lost his brother in the World War, he has struggled to come to terms with the death that pitilessly pursues him. It only becomes worse when, to add to his grief, his aunt is found dead in her home. Not a year has passed since the armistice, and the beloved town gossip has been poisoned–and to all appearances, she poisoned herself.
Pattrick can’t believe it any more than the rest of the Claytons, whatever the police say. Investigations continue, but before any one can make up their mind, another death strikes the family, this time even closer to home. And this time there’s no doubt–it’s murder.
From the nearby city of Philadelphia comes retired private inquiry agent, Leo Westmacott. At first he’s only an old family friend come to pay his respects; but there’s no turning his back when duty calls, and soon he’s playing the role of sleuth once again. Now he has to readjust himself to the detection game and get to the bottom of these murders. The complaisant Pattrick Clayton agrees to help, and soon they are joined by Leo’s dependable secretary, the charming Miss Slaytor. The deeper they inquire into the lives and minds of the people of Mockingbird, the more they realize that life is no more innocent, no more docile, and no less dangerous in the country than on the backstreets of Philadelphia. As the truth becomes clearer, so does the frightfully realistic prospect of a third death.
Filled with vivid characters, flavored with heart, and steeped with wisdom, The Second Death is more than a study in murder and mystery but in loss, family, friendship, and death itself. A vivid cast of characters will light your way along an ingenious maze of secret and deception while the secretive Leo Westmacott will leave you completely in the dark until the final moment.
Red and Lowring
Leo Westmacott, has returned from his inconspicuous retirement to resume his crusade against crime. With his secretary, Rachel Slaytor, and the loyal Pattrick Clayton at his side, the criminal underworld of the city of Philadelphia is up against a formidable team.
As the twenties roar into life and America is being offered a return to “normalcy,” the Red Scare is dying out fast, and Socialist revolutionaries are fighting a losing battle. But in the hearts of the more ardent Reds, there’s a fire still burning with threatening heat.
It’s a chess game one moment and a violent murder the next for Leo Westmacott and his assistants. When the district-attorney personally brings him the case of an innocent man’s supposedly spurious lynching, Leo accepts, putting Pattrick and Rachel’s skills to the test—and straining even his own.
As the trio begin to stir up the embers of a murder case, things get even hotter. The Socialist anarchists grow more desperate by the day. The sky’s the limit for the schemes they will resort to. Soon the case becomes deeply embroiled with a looming Red coup d’etat nobody saw coming.
While the threat of Socialist anarchy grows bigger every moment, Leo’s assistants can’t afford to get distracted. The fires of political intrigue, deception, and love burn around them at every turn, and at the heart of it all, there’s a ruthless killer on the loose who may be much nearer, and far more dangerous, than they realize.
Caleb Peiffer, author of The Second Death, brings his cast of lovable characters back to the literary stage with a page-turning whodunit spiced up into a cozy political thriller.
Gone Like the Shadow
When Leo Westmacott’s wheelchair rattles through the door at Gauss Home orphanage late one night, nobody is expecting him—but then, a night ago nobody was expecting to find the assistant superintendent brutally murdered, either.
Twenty years later, the last thing Rachel Slaytor expects is the woman who once tried to murder her to show up on her doorstep—dead . . .
Now nobody knows what to expect next.
1902. The life of little, unwanted Rachel will be changed forever when Leo Westmacott comes to Gauss Home to solve a baffling murder and stop a ruthless killer—before Rachel becomes the second victim.
1920. Rachel’s all grown up, but childhood ghosts persistently haunt her. When a corpse from her past appears all too unexpectedly in her bedroom, Leo takes the case, whirling his loyal assistant Pattrick undercover to discover what secrets can tie an old murder and an even older jewel theft to the dead woman’s friends—and enemies.
2014. Author Caleb Peiffer teams up once again with his antiquated sleuth, Leo Westmacott, to bring us another wholesome old-fashioned imbroglio in Gone Like the Shadow, contemplative and puzzling to the very end.
With the Ambage
The Ambage is a coalition of diverse writers, brought together online by their common passion for literature, storytelling, and creative expression through the medium of words. Formed from the combined efforts of Andrew Page, John Matz, Caleb Peiffer, and various others, the community of the Ambage has served as a springboard for creative ideas and collaborative projects since early 2009.
Crooked Ways (full cover image)
. . . is a small collection of stories and poems centered around the theme of Halloween. It is the Ambage’s third foray into publication and features stories from seven authors, including Nate Deisinger and Caleb Peiffer (author of The Second Death). From the classical approach of horror and suspense, to the religious take of All Hallows’ Eve; from unusual job opportunities, to unknown evils; the stories here explore the many different interpretations of Halloween.
Contributing Authors: E.R. Alwardby, Nate Deisinger, Nicholas Foireann, John Matz, Nicole Michelle, Andrew Page, and Caleb Peiffer.
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Constellations (full cover image)
. . . is the second anthology of short fiction published by the Ambage, the first being X:15, a collection of flash fiction pieces organized around fifteen different themes. Constellations presents thirty-odd short stories written specifically within the genre of science fiction, featuring stories from returning authors such as Nate Deisinger, Will Krueger, John Matz, Andrew Page, and Caleb Peiffer (author of The Second Death), as well as several new authors.
From the farthest reaches of space and time to the familiar realms of everyday life; from the cold impersonality of the outside world to the intensely personal worlds of imagination, belief, and the mind—the stories represented here explore a broad network of styles, themes, and experience, honed for the enjoyment of all readers.
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X:15 (full cover image)
. . . is the first Ambage anthology. The stories in this book form a collection of flash fiction pieces written by 15 of these authors–who share a great love and passion for writing–for 15 different themes, edited and critiqued by other members in the spirit of the original competition.
From paranormal horror to historical fiction to more lighthearted fare, this anthology provides an abundance of genres and styles, tailored and twisted to the ideas and designed to be enjoyed by readers of all genres alike.
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