Chapel on the Moor – Mystery

Author Name: Duncan F. Dempster

Book Title: Chapel on the Moor

Book Synopsis: A haunting pre-sunrise dawn assaults Frank Dole’s senses as he sets out on his accustomed morning fishing ritual on a remote island shoreline near his summer home. Tiring of surfcasting, he wanders aimlessly along the shore, soon to be confronted by a mirage ” a mysterious girl sleeping in the hollow of a nearby dune. Despite deep confusion and hesitation, he musters the courage to approach and engage her in conversation. Awakening later to an empty beach with no sign of the girl save her green towel now draped over his legs, he is completely stymied as to who or what she was and why he had fallen asleep. Meanwhile, in the nearby Village, Elizabeth Geary and her daughter Merritt have arrived on the island for the summer to participate in the reopening of a long-abandoned rural church built far out on the desolate moor some fifty years earlier by Elizabeth’s eccentric grandfather, Matthew Fox. What follows is a virtual treasure hunt replete with impossible apparitions, obscure clues, false leads, surprising discoveries and a cast of local village characters, each holding partial ill-fitting pieces to the growing puzzle of the chapel’s existence. Over the next few days, Frank desperately tries to reconcile subsequent appearances and disappearances of his enigmatic female phantom, all somehow connected to the derelict chapel on the moor. Flashbacks to a century earlier reveal the story of Matthew Fox’s deep devotion to his beautiful young lover, Jennifer Lydia, their subsequent marriage, her tragic death during childbirth, his twenty year disappearance out into the world and later return home, and his obsession with designing and building the chapel. In the process, the past and present slowly merge into a single perplexing amalgam of reality and fiction resulting in unearthed answers leading to further buried questions. The slow, relentless buildup and arrival of a devastating nor ‘easter brings a surprising resolution to the mystery surrounding the chapel and its builder as well as the catastrophic end of the chapel itself.

Author Bio: Duncan Dempster is a freelance writer who, having spent the better part of a lifetime employing words and language as a matter of vocational expedience, has discovered late in life the joys and challenges of juggling words and ideas in a purely avocational mode. A retired career Naval officer and later a part-time bank property manager and internet service technician, he is now fully retired in the institutional sense and totally immersed in his newfound career of building his dream retirement home on the Big Island of Hawaii and living happily and productively ever after. His passion for writing in general and fiction writing, in particular, knows few bounds save those imposed by the necessary daily routines of eating, sleeping and exercising, and even then, words and ideas rattle around in his head like stray atoms vying for escape. He is an avid believer in the power of words to evoke emotion and its corollary, the power of emotion to inspire words. Thus he strives to use language as a tool to paint the landscapes of human relationships and feelings and to employ those feelings to flesh out and define the limits and boundaries of words. Other than a few stabs at poetry and lyric writing, Chapel on the Moor is his first serious attempt to trace the outlines and color the contours of relationships through the telling of a story. Though steeped in mystery bordering on fantasy, the story can be as real or as fanciful as the reader chooses to imagine. In this author’s view, both are valid interpretations of reality.

Publisher Name: Dog Ear Publishing