When a priceless Fabergé egg goes missing from a locked room in the London townhouse of Russian oligarch Yevgeny Ivanov, everybody quickly suspects Eva Hart, Ivanov’s cleaning lady and single mother.
But Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd has her doubts about this theory, for Eva Hart has no motive, since the egg is unsellable on the free market. But what does Eva’s little daughter Emily know? And what happened to the egg?
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- Egg Hunt is a novelette of 7500 words or approximately 25 print pages. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- Since A Bullet for Father Christmas, a Christmas themed mystery in the Helen Shepherd series, did quite well, I decided to write an Easter themed mystery. Hence, Egg Hunt was born.
- While thinking what to do for an encore, after I had Father Christmas or rather a guy dressed like him rob a London jewellery store and get shot for his troubles in A Bullet for Father Christmas, I eventually hit upon the idea of a Fabergé Egg that goes missing.
- The Easter Bunny actually becomes a suspect at one point, though unlike in A Bullet for Father Christmas, I did not have a gun-toting Easter Bunny show up.
- Peter Carl Fabergé made only 65 known eggs altogether, 57 of which survive, which made adding an unaccounted for egg easy. Currently, there are three eggs known to exist on British soil, all as part of the Royal collection. The State of Qatar owns one egg. One of the lost eggs was indeed rediscovered in the American Midwest in 2012 and eventually sold for 20 millions pounds at auction.
- In addition to the Fabergé Egg, the Ivanovs’ rather acclectic art collection includes works by Alberto Giacometti, Roy Lichtenstein, Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Joseph Beuys and Vassily Bagdanorvsky. Vassily Bagdanorovsky and his sculpture Shape No. 9 are entirely fictional and a reference to my story Courier Duty, in which Shape No. 8 by the same artist features prominently. All the other artists and works really do exist.
- Joseph Beuys’ famous “grease corners” have occasionally become the victims of overzealous cleaners who mistook a work of concept art for a pile of rubbish.
- Yevgeny Ivanov’s rival collectors are completely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is entirely coincidental. That said, you might recognise one or two of them.
- Helen briefly references Upstairs, Downstairs, the popular 1970s British period show, whose exterior scenes really were filmed in the sidestreets of Belgravia, now and then one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in London.
- The cover image is a stock photo by Alison Taylor. It’s not actually a Fabergé egg, but it vaguely looks like one.
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