Susan Wolf Johnson

"An auspicious debut."

- Kirkus Review

The disappearance of a Tampa Bay blue blood rattles the skeletons in his family's closet. In Johnson's first novel, it's the summer of 1972, and Daniel Westcott, 68, has been named king of the pirates, to be crowned at the annual Gasparilla Queen's Party. But Westcott, who has never missed a Queen's Party, fails to attend his own coronation, and his enigmatic absence prompts an uneasy homecoming of his grandchildren, Becca, 21, an aspiring Broadway musical actress, and her estranged...

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Book Synopsis

On a summer's evening in 1972, while the band plays amid the sizzling heat at the Tampa Yacht Club,Gasparilla pirates and their ladies eagerly await the arrival of their newly crowned king, Daniel Westcott. But to their dismay, Daniel never shows up.

By the wee hours of the next morning, the townspeople are scratching their heads as members of the Westcott family deliberate whether or not to call the police. As the story unfolds, King Daniel has disappeared without a trace.

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A Vigil for Daniel

While Victor and Evan motored out to Egmont Key to head off the smugglers, Becca and Natalie waited in the living room of the Westcott Mansion for Victor's Uncle Carlos to relay any news from the search.  Natalie had grabbed the phone when it rang, hugged the receiver to her ear.  "Early?" Natalie asked, her voice aquiver. Becca knew she was talking to Carlos Mendoza. She clasped her hands over her belly and waited. The air conditioner clicked on with a whirring noise, like the old vacuum that droned through the house so loudly that when Niobe turned it off, the house became still, somber as a deserted church. Becca didn't know which was worse, the eerie silence or this new arrival. She shivered.

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