Conjuring For Beginners: A Rosa Daniels crime mystery
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First Published on Mar 16 2015
Rosa Daniels takes time off from her job as features editor of Woman Today and travels to Switzerland to bury her father, a charismatic confidence trickster. Ferdy Daniels died alone and penniless in a remote Swiss village, after a lifetime of high level swindles, newspaper headlines, and spells in jail.
Rosa attends his funeral but only from a sense of duty. Masked men burst in on the funeral service at gunpoint and open the coffin - the first of a series of incidents in which victims of Ferdy, including intelligence services, disrupt Rosa’s formerly cool well-ordered existence.
Rosa has inherited her father’s good looks. But to her this is merely a burden – every man she meets wants to add her to a conquest list - one more thing for which she blames Ferdy. In reaction to Ferdy’s wild ways, Rosa has become very careful – perhaps too careful.
An unreliable obituary of Ferdy appears in The Times, claiming that he was a spy, an international businessman and the author of a book manuscript entitled Conjuring for Beginners. Rosa discovers to her horror that she is the target of violent people from Ferdy’s past who are convinced that she has inherited the manuscript.
Rosa is mugged on the train and her flat is ransacked. Police and intelligence services are reluctant to help her as they, too, believe she is in league with her dead father. She is blackmailed by retired MI6 officer, Harold Stainley, into helping him by meeting the retired head of the KGB, Vladimir Malakov, codenamed Wolf, in Britain to contact her about Ferdy.
Rosa sets about unravelling the mystery of Ferdy’s biggest con. She traces three people from Ferdy’s past who seem to hold clues.
Part Two - Ferdy
After leaving the Army, Ferdy Daniels conceives a dangerous plan. He knows of the obsession of KGB General Malakov to find a cache of stolen Nazi gold. He sets up a sting. But Ferdy’s plan goes wrong in a way no one could have foreseen. He is arrested by the Stasi on orders from Moscow, to be used as a pawn in exchange for two Soviet spies.
These events lead to Ferdy's biggest and most audacious sting which he practises on Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. When SIS wakes up to Ferdy’s sting, it is time for him to disappear for good.
With her father's enemies on her tail, Rosa must unravel Ferdy’s web of deceits and intrigues herself, to stay alive. But to understand her father’s actions, she must learn to become as quick-witted and cunning as Ferdy. She must learn the art of conjuring.
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