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The Copenhagen Connection

Cover of The Copenhagen Connection

The Copenhagen Connection

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A strange twist of fate brings Elizabeth Jones face to face with her idol, the brilliant, eccentric historian Margaret Rosenberg, at the Copenhagen Airport. An even stranger accident makes Elizabeth the esteemed scholar's new private assistant. But luck can go from good to bad in an instant -- and less than twenty-four hours later, the great lady is kidnapped by persons unknown. Suddenly desperate in a foreign land, Elizabeth must cast her lot with Rosenberg's handsome, insufferable son Christian in hopes of finding her vanished benefactor. On a trail that leads from modern wonders to ancient mystery, a determined young woman and an arrogant "prince" must uncover shocking secrets carefully guarded in the beautiful Danish city. And they must survive a mysterious affair that is turning darker and deadlier by the hour.

A strange twist of fate brings Elizabeth Jones face to face with her idol, the brilliant, eccentric historian Margaret Rosenberg, at the Copenhagen Airport. An even stranger accident makes Elizabeth the esteemed scholar's new private assistant. But luck can go from good to bad in an instant -- and less than twenty-four hours later, the great lady is kidnapped by persons unknown. Suddenly desperate in a foreign land, Elizabeth must cast her lot with Rosenberg's handsome, insufferable son Christian in hopes of finding her vanished benefactor. On a trail that leads from modern wonders to ancient mystery, a determined young woman and an arrogant "prince" must uncover shocking secrets carefully guarded in the beautiful Danish city. And they must survive a mysterious affair that is turning darker and deadlier by the hour.

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  • Chapter One

    The plane lifted with a roar of jets, soaring into star-sprinkled blackness. The girl in seat 37-C sucked on the end of her ball-point pen and tried to think of a way to describe the aircrafts motion without using the words "silver" or "bird."

    She wrote, "Seducer." Then she thought, "Oh, well, why not?" and added "silver" with a defiant carat.

    Silver Seducer
    Rape

    The woman in the next seat, staring unashamedly, started in surprise. The girl didn't look like that kind of a girl. She was small and slender, with silvery fair hair that cupped her head in petal-like tendrils. Her horn-rimmed glasses were not fitted properly. They kept sliding down to the tip of her nose, and when she returned the pen to her mouth and gazed pensively over the rims of the glasses she looked no more than eighteen.

    She was, in fact, twenty-six. The glasses were part of her business costume. She didn't really need them — sometimes they were an actual nuisance. But she hoped they made her look older and more efficient. Her name was Elizabeth Jones. She had been born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was currently employed by Frenchton and Monk, Publishers, in their publicity department. This was her first trip abroad. She had been saving up for it for three years. In her desk drawer at home were the manuscripts of seventy-six poems. Six had been published in various obscure journals. Elizabeth had designs on Frenchton and Monk, but was waiting for the right moment. (This hope was, of course, naive and doomed to failure, but it shows what a nice, innocent girl Elizabeth was, even after three years in Manhattan.)

    She stared at the three words she had written. It was so hard to find new figures of speech. They had all been used. After a moment she went on.

    Rape the virgin sky...

    No. The sky could not be virgin. Hundreds of flights per week went out of LaGuardia, and it was only one of hundreds of airports. Quivering sky? Palpitant sky? Big blue sky...

    A gush of unadulterated rapture filled her, starting in her toes and flowing upward to erupt in a broad smile. It was a big blue sky, and the plane was a silver bird — a phoenix, an eagle, a roc, carrying her to adventure and excitement. She had dreamed of this trip so long; why cultivate a false sophistication when there was nobody around to admire it?

    Big silver bird,
    Listen to the word,
    Carry me away
    To a brighter day
    Where I'll sing and play
    Hurray, hurray, hurray!

    "Now that's real pretty," said her seatmate, in a flat Midwest twang. "Much nicer than all that stuff about — er —"

    Elizabeth turned her head, her smile lingering. Her seatmate, mistaking the expression for one of affability, returned it with a flash of gold crowns. "Your first trip, honey?" she inquired.

    "Oh, no," Elizabeth said promptly.

    "Oh." Deprived of the pleasure of advising a novice, the older woman looked disappointed. "Well, it's a long ride, we may's well get acquainted. I'm Mrs. Hector Rawlings."

    "Elizabeth Jones."

    "Where you from?"

    "New York."

    "It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't wanna live there. All that crime. Now Jenkinsville, Indiana — that's my hometown — we don't do things like they do in N'Yawk."

    She went on to tell Elizabeth how they did things in Jenkinsville, Indiana. Elizabeth's smile felt as if it had been glued into position. The seat-belt sign had gone out by the time Mrs. Rawlings paused for breath, and Elizabeth took ruthless advantage.

    "Excuse me. The seat-belt sign is off — I've got to — I want to —"

    "It takes some people that way," said Mrs. Hector Rawlings.

    Apparently it did. There was a wait.

About the Author-
  • Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

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