I hate it when that happens! ;-)
The brand new historical mystery novella from Alexandra Amor finds Arthur ‘Sully’ Sullivan’s ship on fire. Luckily, the steam engine survives. But what about the town called Horse? Its merchants and citizens rely on Sully’s ship to bring goods to the tiny frontier town.
Once again I was inspired by my visit to the Vernon Museum and Archives for one of the plot elements in this novella.
There was an actual passenger and freight ship that ran up and down Lake Okanagan in the late 1800s. It was captained by a man called Thomas Dollman Shorts, and he rowed the boat up and down the lake (!) before he acquired his small steam engine.
It took five days, if you can imagine. At the end of each day, the passengers and the captain stayed overnight on a beach and then started anew the next morning.
I couldn’t make this stuff up
The character in the Town Called Horse historical mysteries Arthur Sullivan is loosely based on Captain Shorts. They both wear a bowler hat and both are scruffy, irascible characters.
The Vernon Museum still has Captain Shorts’ steam engine! When I visited in 2014 the sight of it planted a seed that has just now come to fruition in Water Horse. I thought I had taken a photo of it while I was there, but alas, if I did, I can’t find it. You’ll have to take my word for it or visit the museum yourself. ;-)
(BTW, I constantly refer to a few historical records when doing research for my books. One excellent volume is by Edna Oram, called The History of Vernon 1867 – 1937. It’s no longer in print, but I want to send a shout out to Edna whose book is invaluable to this author of historical fiction.)
And you’ll have to read Water Horse to find out what Sully does when his steam engine sinks to the bottom of the lake.
For my latest short mysteries, I’ve had men at the centre of the story. First Walt took the lead in The Outside of a Horse, and in Water Horse Constable Jack Merrick is trying to get back on his feet – and back to his work – after the loss of his wife.
The current book I’m working on once again has schoolteacher Julia Thom at the forefront. She and Merrick are investigating an assault on a young woman at a …. well, I’m not going to give the location away yet. You’ll have to read The Horse You Rode In On to find out what’s happening. That book will be released March 15, 2018.
In the meantime, you can get caught up with the folks in the Town Called Horse and find out if Sully is able to rescue his steam engine, and his business!