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Murder on the Moors: A Short Story by Lawrence Hogue

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The events of this tale take place in 1792. They form the backstory for one of the main characters in Lawrence Hogue’s new novel, Daring and Decorum, which takes place four years later.
James Cosgrove, Constable for Kisdon Parish, approached Aysgarth Manor with a heavy step, despite the promise of warmth inside. Investigating a murder was nothing he had time for, what with the demands of running Hemsly village’s one milliner’s shop, nor was it anything he’d expected to do when he’d been pushed into the position by the other prominent members of the parish. But now, here he was, with little idea what he might find inside the ancient manor’s stone walls. The place was bleak enough, occupying a high moorland with even taller fells rising behind, like brows beetling over a brooding face. The house itself was an ancient stone pile, with slits for windows gazing vacantly across the heath, now white with a cover of snow. There were few signs of life from within; the “castle,” such as it was, s…