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Old Letters & New Demons
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Old Letters & New Demons
by Richard Devall

Where History Meets Mystery

This is a novel of the combined genres, historic and speculative, for an adult audience. In 1929 Harry Crosby shot his girlfriend and two hours later he killed himself. They were found fully clothed with their shoes off and their toe nails painted red. After this incident, Harry’s wife Caresse, moved to an estate in Bowling Green Virginia, where she wrote pornography for Henry Miller and Anis Nin in the 1940’s. She is a very strong female protagonist.

In 1983 John and Julia Gavis dug up their father, who was killed by their younger brother, along with their mother and brother in 1978. This was in Spotsylvania, a few miles from Hampton Manor, an estate, where Caresse Crosby lived. When charged with disinterment of a human body, John and Julia were wearing multiple layers of bread wrappers on their feet and hands and said it was to keep the demons away. I linked these two tales together because they made a great template for a novel. I weaved the two stories back to Egypt, beginning in the 1920’s, and ended the tale in the summer of 2016.

This novel is brimming with humor, sarcasm, wit and a fist full of ancient energy. The characters in this novel don’t blow themselves up in the first chapter, their demise is an artfully crafted train wreck whose tracks are built out of history, mystery and words that add up to chapters, and nail down the rails over time.

Caresse Crosby is Constance in this novel and her compelling life story is told every other chapter in letter form. It’s in these letters the reader is allowed an intimate glimpse into a real history of the 1920’s, which until now, has been locked away.

The male protagonist is stalked throughout the novel by a demonic energy. He slips in and out of reality as this force reveals itself and he relives the lives of those who have fallen before him. This gives the reader a researched view of ancient Egypt, Greece and early Rome, ending in romantic betrayal, bewilderment and death.

This is a two for one book. There’s the story of Albert and Constance, aka Harry and Carasse, but also Greg Singleton, who in 2016 purchases a home in Bowling Green and finds a talisman in a box that changes his personality and goals.
 

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