The Girl In The Seaside Hotel
Literary Fiction, Mystery
Published: February 2019
Surf And Sand: The Girl In The Seaside Hotel is the story of a young girl and her family living in Hermosa Beach during the late 1950s, the so-called "Gidget Era" of surfing. A formerly grand old hotel becomes the setting for the girl's growing obsession with solving the mysterious disappearance of another girl 21 years earlier in the hotel's basement swimming pool. After a friend goes missing too, the detective from the original case, now nearing retirement, is called in to help solve the two cases, which may or may not be connected.
…There had been a large crowd in the ballroom that Saturday night, as a well-known jazz orchestra had been playing. As many as 300 people. None of the girl’s friends reported any suspicious incidents or encounters before the girl went missing. Irene Young did not have a steady boyfriend or local family, and lived with another young woman in Hollywood, a woman who hadn’t been at the hotel or ballroom that evening.
Irene’s friends had tried to report her missing much earlier that morning, just after 2AM, with a mildly frantic phone call, but the police had just assumed she’d just probably gone home in a taxi-cab or with a friend or someone else she’d met there at the hotel. And besides she hadn’t been missing the required 72 hours for a formal report. Still, a police officer was eventually sent over just after daybreak, really just to placate her friends. It was all more or less routine until the shoes and necklace were found. Then detectives had arrived to ask questions.
There were no obvious signs that any physical violence had occurred down in the pool area, but it couldn’t be ruled out either. Eventually every room in the hotel had been searched for any sign of violence or evidence that Irene Young had been there. Nothing was found to indicate she had. She had simply vanished.
But one of the newspaper stories that Nell found had included a few of the witness’s first names and last name initial. These were the names of Irene’s companions that had been interviewed by the police. There was a Joey F, a Clark S., and a Lois J. And one of those names was a Virginia W. That’s just like mother’s maiden name, she thought. Worsham! Nell had never heard of a Joey F., but there was Uncle Clark and Aunt Lois. How could this be? It couldn’t be coincidence, could it? Sherlock Homes didn’t believe in coincidence. Nell didn’t know what to think. Or what to do.
About the Author
W.B. Edwards is a retired telephone employee, who took two years of college as an English major at Rio Hondo in Whittier, California, from 1966 to 1968. Edwards is a Vietnam era Navy veteran, a motorcycle enthusiast, surfer, taiji practitioner, and dreamer. He is an Indie author with two novels completed, and working on a third.