The Gilded Nightmare (Pierre Chambrun Mystery, Book 5)
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A Nazi’s widow comes to the Beaumont Hotel with death in her entourage.
As befits the manager of New York’s finest hotel, Pierre Chambrun has certain standards for his guests at the Beaumont. Were it not for the pleading of the hotel’s owner, no amount of money could persuade him to allow the Baroness Charmian Zetterstrom a room. She is the stunning young widow of a Nazi war criminal; her husband was an infamous sadist who escaped before the fall of the Reich to live out the rest of his days in hedonistic isolation on a Mediterranean isle. Off the island for the first time since the war, the baroness comes to New York with an entourage of misfits, and mayhem follows. The first victim is the baroness’s dog, which is savagely murdered by an unknown hand. The next to die will be human, forcing Chambrun to identify the killer, or risk having his hotel destroyed by the vindictive ghosts of the fallen Reich.
Stephen made his brother comfortable and set off on foot, running for the doctor’s office. It took, at the most, fifteen minutes for Stephen to get in to see the doctor, explain, and bring him back, both running to the apartment. “Bruno was in the bathroom. He was dead. He had apparently cut his throat with one of Stephen’s razor blades.” Chambrun’s eyes widened. “Apparently?” “The apartment door was open when Stephen and the doctor came back. Stephen was almost sure he’d locked it when he
Stephen Wood?” “I thought it possible.” “So the Baroness was upset and she sent Heidi Brunner out to get a prescription for sleeping pills filled.” “My dear fellow, you don’t know the Baroness,” Masters said. “She doesn’t need sleeping pills. She doesn’t have nerves. She doesn’t have a conscience that bothers her. The pills were for Dr. Malinkov. He has all the things the Baroness doesn’t have.” “Why didn’t he get the pills for himself?” Masters’ pale eyes seemed to get brighter. “He didn’t
said was utterly false, because it would have distressed her. “The Baroness we’ve had described to us—a voluptuary, a cold, unfeeling woman who enjoyed torturing Bruno Wald and probably others, wouldn’t have needed to have her feelings spared. It’s hard to believe they’d have felt it necessary. But,” and Chambrun shrugged, “they could have.” “The picture in the scrapbook,” I said. “Interesting,” Chambrun said. “She showed her age there. Walking with a cane, no less. Still beautiful, but not
go to Mr. Culver.” “It’s all over, Helwig,” Chambrun said, on the other end. I know now there was a good-sized gathering in the great man’s office—Hardy, Jerry Dodd, Miss Ruysdale, who’d managed to get Charmian pinned together and a stiff brandy down her gullet. When Helwig identified himself Chambrun put his hand over the phone’s mouthpiece and said the one word “Helwig.” Hardy started for the door but Chambrun stopped him with a sharp “Wait!” “The next step is just beginning, Mr. Chambrun,”
telephones to the mainland, no way Bruno could manage to communicate. He told himself that if he continued his relationship with Charmian for a few days she would tire of him and the whole ghastly situation would resolve itself. But presently he realized that it didn’t matter whether she tired of him or not. He became aware of other people on the island for the first time. He recognized some of them. The Baron’s island was being used as a haven for some of the most wanted German war criminals.