- Read an excerpt
- Recipe for Barbados Planters’ Punch
- More information about Barbados and its pirates
- Buy Perfidia on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats
The DEA claims Olivia Lassiter’s father, Del, was last seen retrieving the wave-battered body of his drug running partner from a rocky cove in Barbados. In disbelief, Olivia outruns the DEA to Del’s safe deposit box only to uncover an emerald and ruby necklace, bearer bonds, and a rusty key.
When a couriered note from Del demands the key, and a glib Barbadian lawyer dangles intrigue, Olivia grabs the next flight to Barbados landing in the middle of a tug of war over a historic plantation, a hunt for rumored pirate booty, and a host of long kept secrets.
It will take all of Olivia’s wiles to survive Perfidia.
“In Church’s debut thriller… Church manages, quite impressively, to maintain a sense of a hidden but perpetual threat… Overpowering dread and a leery protagonist make this a suspenseful read.”
“I really enjoyed this book because you can escape from the real world for a time. I loved the characters and did not want the book to end. Can’t miss with Islands, Ocean, Pirates and History.”
“Wow. This book is a real page turner. Had problems putting it down. Would love to read more of the author’s books.”
An excerpt from Perfidia:
Olivia Lassiter’s Saturday has been disrupted by DEA agents, news that her father was last seen carrying the body of a cousin Olivia didn’t know she had from a beach in Barbados, discovery of a safe deposit box, now this:
As the courier drove off, I read the return address: Perfidia, St. Philip, Barbados. Wherever and whatever that was, the envelope had begun its travel to me three days earlier. I ripped off the tape then pinched the hasp open. A single sheet of folded paper was inside. I slid the sheet out. On the topside of the fold was a poorly drawn picture of something reminiscent of a circular staircase with bats. I turned the sheet over. A curvy letter P in a fancy typeface occupied the upper left corner of what appeared to be a note card.
I flipped the card open. In Del’s imprecise, poor, pointy cursive, the note read: Hey, darlin’, by now you and Gail have been to the safe deposit box. Bring the key. By the way, I found you somethin’ goin’ to make you go all weak in the knees. It’s what you need, Liv. Come on, girl! He even wrote with a Southern accent.
I had a gyroscope once. I played with the thing constantly until I realized that when the gyroscope began to oscillate out of control, there was nothing I could do to intervene. I felt like that now, as though my only option was to let things go until they crashed to a nasty, bumpy halt. I sat on the driveway letting the hot cement warm the chill I felt.
I hugged my knees and rocked on my hips until the garage sale folks began to point and whisper. I put the note back in the big envelope then put the envelope on the front stoop. It must have cost hundreds of dollars to send. I suppose the expense underscored Del’s desire for me to drop everything to bring him the key.
Whether I stayed or went, I needed to return the lawn tools to the garage. As I went about my chore, Del’s voice nagged at me: You’re takin’ this life thing way to serious, Liv. Sooner or later you gotta do one thing that don’t make no dam’ sense. From the time I was twelve, my father found me predictable, dull, unattractive, over read, under-dated and, did I mention, dull. It’s what you need, Liv.
The telephone was ringing. I trotted into the house quick enough to answer the extension in Del’s office. A soft baritone with a touch of British said, “Miss Lassiter, this is Brendan Whitelaw. Our office represents your father in Bridgetown. I’m calling to ask if anyone has contacted you concerning your father’s affairs.”
“He was having affairs!”
“Sorry. His business affairs. Legal matters. I’m with Parradine and Whitelaw. He left us your number.”
He began to speak very slowly as though to the hard of hearing or slightly daft, leaning heavily toward daft. “Telephone number. Your address. That sort of thing. You see, he’s gone missing.”
“Missing? The DEA didn’t mention it while they were here?”
Who sounded daft now?
“They told me that a cousin drowned. I don’t have any cousins.” My eyes drifted to the painting that disguised the wall safe. The painting was of the stone front of a house, its entrance graced by a shower of red flowers dangling from a tangle of branches on a massive old tree.
“Well, yes, Aaron is dead.”
I fingered the thickly administered oil paint. “What’s going on?”
“Aaron’s death may have to do with a ship that grounded off Perfidia, the White Lady. Did your father ever mention the boat?”
“He never mentioned we had family, why would he mention some old boat.” I sounded testy, but who wouldn’t when faced with a dead cousin, a new name, a missing father, and profound, previously unknown riches.
“Not some old boat, the White Lady. She belonged to the deBancos of Pendu…in Columbia. Rumors hit the chop immediately.”
“Drugs. That sort of thing. The White Lady was yar, could carry a bit of illegal below boards. She was hulled in the accident. Authorities found nothing.” The staccato of a skilled typist clicked over the long- distance line. “I don’t suppose you would consider coming to Barbados? With Del gone missing, we may not be able to move forward without you.”
The background clack of the keyboard produced a syncopated rhythm. Whoever was typing was fast and sure, surer than I was about almost anything at the moment.
“Mr. Whitelaw, I haven’t got a clue what is going on or where Del is. He never spoke to me of relatives. In fact, he led me to believe he found me along the side of the road and stole me from some gators.”
“A New Orleans thing,” I said rather more N’awleans then not.
He cleared his throat but uttered nothing for a count of thirty. When he did speak, his voice was quiet, “If I were you, I would come.”
I was picking at the thick strokes of oil on the painting, trying to decide if I’d been threatened or beckoned.
“Let me know when you arrive, better still give me the flight number I’ll see that someone meets you.”
When the line went dead, I went to Del’s desk. I broke open the lock on the lower left file drawer sure that Price had pocketed the key. They had been back.
This bit of petty larceny was the reason we beat them (DEA agents) to the bank. I knew what they found in the drawer, the combination to the wall safe—the one I had just been in, the one that carried nothing of greater portent than house papers and now the very key that Del had summoned. I took the velvet bag from the safe and stuffed it in my hobo purse.