It's 1926 and Saint Petersburg, Florida, is booming with new homes, new restaurants, new resorts and a million dollar pier. In Murder at the Million Dollar Pier by Gwen Mayo and Sarah E. Glenn, Cornelia Pettijohn and her uncle Percival are joined by Teddy Lawless on a visit to the Sunshine State.
Uncle Percival's obsession with engineering has led them to the construction site known as the Million Dollar Pier. They decide to stay at the luxurious Vinoy Hotel overlooking the Bay so Uncle Percival can observe and film the construction. But trouble seems to follow the trio as they encounter Teddy's former fiance Ansel Stevens
Thirty years of pent up animosity towards the abusive Stevens manifests itself in a hard slap across his face by Teddy, then as he manhandles anther woman, a kick to the Achilles heel. Everyone is agog, but Teddy returns to her table to finish her dinner.
Once back in the room, Cornelia finagles the story from Teddy. Turns out she was engaged to Stevens when she was 17, but when she asked to be part of the decision making, he started to beat her. When her parents insisted she marry him anyway, Teddy fled to her grandmother's house in New York. Stevens spread the rumor that Teddy was pregnant with another man's baby and ruined her reputation and that of her family. No surprise she felt the need to slap him.
But days later when Stevens dies from nicotine poisoning during a boat race and Teddy's hair comb is found on board, she is arrested. Cornelia and Percival are determined to clear her, but Stevens' daughter Evelyn is just as determined to convict Teddy.
The intrepid Percival and the diligent Cornelia work to find evidence to clear Teddy. A riotous adventure featuring three gutsy characters.
Disclosure: I received this book from the authors.