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Leslie Ford

Shot in the Dark

Collins Crime Club 1949
Jacket artwork sadly unsigned

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THE YOUNG MAN lying at the end of the pier, over the moonlit water of the Creek, adjusted his lank loose-jointed frame to co-operate with the uneven oak plank under him and shifted his pipe to the other side of his wide mouth. The Llewellyn setter stretched out beside him raised his head and thumped the boards with his feathered tail. Jonas Smith, M.D., put his hand out. " Not yet, boy. It's our last night. Look at that moon. Just look at it, boy. Where's your soul ? Don't you like solitude ? You're as bad as Agatha." The dog put his head down between his paws again. Jonas Smith drew a long satisfying breath, filling his lungs with the cool soft fragrance of pine and swamp magnolia as his soul was filled with all the intangible loveliness of marsh and woods, fields and moonlit water in the Spring. He was happy; he had never been anywhere near so happy when he was in love with Agatha Reed as he was now, out of love with her. What a break, he thought, for both of them, that they hadn't waited too long to find it out. In less than the month since it had happened she had faded almost completely out of his mind, coming back only when something happened that reminded him of her lacquered unyielding conformity.

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