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The Moon Man's Tale: The Agatha Witchley Mysteries, #3

The Moon Man's Tale: The Agatha Witchley Mysteries, #3

Автором Stephen Hunt

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The Moon Man's Tale: The Agatha Witchley Mysteries, #3

Автором Stephen Hunt

4/5 (1 оценка)
137 pages
1 hour
Jun 12, 2015


Part 3 of The Agatha Witchley Mysteries: THE MOON MAN'S TALE

Retired spy Agatha Witchley and her fellow agents from the Office are drawing very close to solving the mystery of the faked autoerotic asphyxiation of billionaire Simon Werks.

But, the nearer the group get to the secret reasons behind the murder, the more bizarre, shocking and deadly is the conspiracy they stumble across.

Soon, Agatha and her companions may regret coming so close to the truth . . . as the final truth could demand a lot more than assistance from the ghosts of Churchill, Elvis and Groucho Marx to survive. 

Because when the world needs saving, you don't send for Bourne, Bond or Kuryakin - you better call upon a psychopathic pensioner who doesn't just see dead people. She makes them, too!




Episode #1 - In the Company of Ghosts.
Episode #2 - The Plato Club.
Episode #3 - The Moon Man's Tale


Secrets of the Moon - in print and ebook.



Praise for Stephen Hunt's novels:

'Compulsive reading for all ages.'

'Studded with invention.'

'Hunt has packed the story full of intriguing gimmicks… affecting and original.'

'An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels.'

'Hunt's imagination is probably visible from space. He scatters concepts that other writers would mine for a trilogy like chocolate-bar wrappers.'

'Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension.'

'A swaggering, eye-filling, brain-swizzling extravaganza!'  

'Readers will be entertained and captivated.'



Novella - part 3 of a continuing, linked series.

Jun 12, 2015

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The Moon Man's Tale - Stephen Hunt



Book 3 in the Agatha Witchley Mysteries series.

First published in 2014 by Green Nebula Press

Copyright © 2014 by Stephen A. Hunt

Typeset and designed by Green Nebula Press. Distributed by Smashwords.

The right of Stephen Hunt to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

This book is sold subject to the conditions that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on a subsequent purchaser.

If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

To follow Stephen on Twitter: http://twitter.com/s_hunt_author

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For further information on Stephen Hunt’s novels, see his web site at http://www.StephenHunt.net


‘Hunt's imagination is probably visible from space. He scatters concepts that other writers would mine for a trilogy like chocolate-bar wrappers.’


‘All manner of bizarre and fantastical extravagance.’


‘Compulsive reading for all ages.’


‘Studded with invention.’


‘To say this book is action packed is almost an understatement… a wonderful escapist yarn!’


‘Hunt has packed the story full of intriguing gimmicks… affecting and original.’


‘A rip-roaring Indiana Jones-style adventure.’


‘A curious part-future blend.’


‘An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels.’


‘Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension.’


‘A ripping yarn … the story pounds along… constant inventiveness keeps the reader hooked… the finale is a cracking succession of cliffhangers and surprise comebacks. Great fun.’


‘Put on your seatbelts for a frenetic cat and mouse encounter... an exciting tale.’


Also by Stephen Hunt


Season 1

In Dark Service (#1)

Foul Tide’s Turning (#2)

The Stealers’ War (#3)


Season 1

The Court of the Air (#1)

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves (#2)

Rise of the Iron Moon (#3)

Secrets of the Fire Sea (#4)

Jack Cloudie (#5)

From the Deep of the Dark (#6)

Season 2

Mission to Mightadore (#7)


Season 1

Sliding Void (#1)

Transference Station (#2)

Red Sun Bleeding (#3)

Season 1 Omnibus Collection (#1 & #2 & #3)

Void all the Way Down


Season 1

In the Company of Ghosts (#1)

The Plato Club (#2)

The Moon Man’s Tale (#3)

Season 1 Omnibus Collection (#1 & #2 & #3)

Secrets of the Moon


For the Crown and the Dragon (#1)

The Fortress in the Frost (#2)


Six Against the Stars

The Alien who Ate Christmas (children’s illustrated)

For links to all these books, visit http://stephenhunt.net/novels/

If another Gunpowder Plot had been discovered half an hour before the lighting of the match, nobody would have been justified in saving the Parliament until there had been half a score of boards, half a bushel of minutes, several sacks of official memoranda, and a family-vault full of ungrammatical correspondence, on the part of the Circumlocution Office.

- Little Dorrit. 1856. Charles Dickens.

Though thy slumber may be deep,

Yet thy spirit shall not sleep,

There are shades which will not vanish,

There are thoughts thou canst not banish.

Manfred – Lord Byron


Just Like Milford Haven

Helen Thorson shook the satellite phone while a look of disappointment played across her near-perfect features. She passed the mobile to Spads who listened to the static with a connoisseur’s ear. It was the tail end of Helen’s conversation with Mrs Witchley and Gary Doyle, only one in four words audible as the product of a human throat, the rest raw squeals and broken digital artefacts. In short, it was garbage; then that intermittent communication faded too, to be replaced by an all-enveloping blanket of white noise which rattled out of the earpiece.

‘I thought you’d hacked the routers down here to piggyback the signal,’ accused Helen.

Spads checked the phone’s connection. ‘My hack’s still in place.’

‘Then I want a rebate from BT,’ said Helen, ‘if that’s what they mean by guaranteed global coverage.’

‘No, the satellite line is fine,’ said Spads, handing her brick-sized phone back. ‘That drumming noise is a jamming signal. You can press these two buttons together if you want to put it on speakerphone.’

Helen ignored his advice about the speakerphone function. ‘Jamming . . . at our end?’

‘No. Their end,’ said Spads, ‘because we’re the ones hearing the reverb on the pulse lock.’

‘They’re on a Caribbean island,’ said Helen. ‘Our dead victim’s island, in fact. So who the hell’s doing the jamming? Puffer fish?’

‘The tech to block satellite signals is military,’ said Spads. ‘So my guess is the same people who attacked the Office and tried to gas us.’

‘Mercenaries-R-Us,’ sighed Helen. ‘Fabulous.’ She sounded annoyed, but Spads thought he detected an undercurrent of relief below her irritation . . . that it wasn’t the two of them facing a rematch with Pegasus EnForce’s ex-military killers for hire. Helen had been jumpy ever since they had infiltrated the Roberts Foundation, searching for clues concerning the victim’s relationship with the exclusive American church. I can’t fault her for that. Their mysterious enemies had attempted to assassinate Helen at the same time as they had attacked Spads and the others in the Office’s underground haven. All things considered, Spads was grateful that Bouche, Mrs Witchley’s tame French killer, was waiting inside the church grounds, doing his best impression of a chauffeur beside their luxury and ever so slightly stolen car. If Spads and Helen found themselves in serious trouble here, then the ex-legionnaire might take some of his notorious ‘Direct Action’.

Our enemies want us dead. And they’re right to fear me. Like Batman and Green Arrow, I will have my vengeance for those I have lost and for those they tried to take. He raised his eyes to stare at Helen’s. ‘Will they be okay?’

‘I suspect they’ll have reason to rue the day they encountered Agatha Witchley.’

‘I meant Mrs Witchley and Inspector Doyle.’

‘I know you did.’

Maybe the inspector and Mrs Witchley should have taken Bouche with them? But of course, on the face of it, breaking into the church was the more challenging of the two missions. Spads had a feeling that Mrs Witchley would be fine. There was something strange about the old woman. Something nameless and arcane and inexplicable. The words of Spads’ mother words floated back to him, unbidden; a quote from Corinthians. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Sometimes I think she’s protecting Bouche rather than the other way around.

Helen turned her attention back to the square table in the centre of the room and Spads joined her. It contained a model of an industrial facility set in a snow-covered diorama. There were other tables in the chamber and they held smaller models of what Spads took to be data centres – server farms in a number of different locations around the world. Secure centres for thousands of servers with their own sealed environmental systems. These Spads approved of. You could never have too much processing power in the cloud. But what sat on the table in the centre was a mystery, and it had excited Helen’s attention enough to call Mrs Witchley and Inspector Doyle.

This was no server farm, of that much Spads was certain. He ran his finger across the diorama. In the valley flats between two flowing snow-covered ridges sat a sprawling complex of blocky concrete buildings, painted a white-and-grey camouflage pattern on the model, buildings interspersed with steel rigs and covered by hundreds of snaking metal pipes. The camera on Helen’s phone was an afterthought, but she used it to snap a quick succession of pictures of the model. The nerd within Spads wondered what scale the model had been built to. Smaller than N-Gauge. As usual, he suspected he was asking the wrong question. That was so often the trouble with Asperger’s and ADHD. The right question rarely presented itself in time, if at all. And I need to find the right question with Helen.

Spads read a blue label at the head of the table. ‘Vinson Massif? Do you think that’s the architect’s name?’ In truth, it sounded like the name of an exclusive French restaurant. Just the kind of place Helen would like to be taken on a date.

‘Not an architect. That’s a place,’ said Helen. ‘A territory deep inside Antarctica.’

Spads recalled what she’d told Mrs Witchley over the phone while they still had a signal. ‘But what does the model have to do with the murder? You said it explained everything?’

‘Antarctica is covered by more international treaties than Doyle has dirty raincoats in his cloakroom,’ explained Helen. ‘Treaties which specify the territory is to be left untouched, pristine and unspoiled. Antarctica contains incredible quantities of raw materials – rare earth minerals, oil, coal, you name it.’ She tapped the model. ‘Does this set-up look like a research station to you? Counting penguins and taking ice core samples?’

No, it doesn’t. It looked a

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