Richard and Maria – Series

How complicated can one man’s life become in a matter of hours?
Very, if you happen to be Richard Carpenter. It began on the last Monday in October, but as our American friends will know, Halloween doesn’t usually start before dawn. That is when thieves are on the prowl, and Richard forgot to bolt his front door. Not that the intruder picked the lock carefully; he wasn’t good at it. Next, Richard switches on the fax machine at the bank where he is the manager and discovers the branch is closing, along with two hundred others, so he’s out of a job. He is supposed to be going to the golf club Halloween dinner dance, but dare he? Angry customers will be there, but he’ll be in costume with a mask. His fiancé, who isn’t wearing a mask, discovers from furious people who guess who he is that he’s unemployed and throws his ring at him. Richard is better off without her, but he doesn’t see it that way. Home, alone but for Ben, his Jack Russell, he resorts to brandy. After a day like that, I’d resort to brandy, but there are twenty minutes to go before his horrible Monday is over, and the doorbell rings. Outside, is his ex-wife Naomi, with teenage Maria, a daughter Richard didn’t know he had. “I’ve looked after her for fourteen years. It’s your turn now.”

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