Foreshadowing "Will and Grace"
Bruce W. Bishop
Immerse yourself in a tale of murder, discrimination, diversity, and discovery
1935. Nova Scotia, Canada.
Marc Youssef constantly wrestles with his commitment to his strict Lebanese culture and upbringing. But when you’re a thirty-four-year-old bachelor — and you are secretly attracted to other men — deception at home and at work simmers daily and threatens to boil over.
After two guests are found dead in the tony railway hotel in Halifax where Marc works, his job is compromised, and his personal life is vulnerable to exposure. One of the suspects in the possible murder investigation just happens to be Marc’s clandestine and married love interest.
Journalist Eva McMaster, Marc’s best friend, is determined to help him find out what really happened. The two become unlikely sleuths in this bizarre incident that becomes the talk of the east coast city.
Marc and Eva sat at her kitchen table, steaming cups of coffee before them. It wasn’t yet December, but a freak snowfall had begun, and both stopped chatting for a moment to observe the big flakes falling in slow motion.
“I wasn’t expecting this today, were you?” Marc asked.
“Not exactly, but you know what Nova Scotia weather is like. It’ll be sunny in an hour.”
“True enough.” He paused. “Eva, you didn’t invite me over today for small talk. What’s going on? Is all okay with David? How’s Angus been doing?”
She sipped her coffee and replied, “Yes, everything’s fine with David. He’s a real doll, and is so good with Angus who thinks the world of him. This afternoon, they’re doing a bit of shopping on Barrington Street.” She stopped, and then said, “Angus had a strained relationship with his father in Yarmouth, so I want him to have a strong and dedicated paternal presence in his life here.”
“Hmmm. Your romance with David is sounding more serious each time we talk.”
“That remains to be seen, Marc, but for the time being, all is well. It’s hard to say if wedding bells will chime.”
She smiled but wanted to divert the conversation from herself and was grateful when Marc changed the topic.
“Remember when we were in Yarmouth and I told you I found out that Amelia Earhart would be visiting and trying her hand at tuna fishing in Wedgeport? And it was all top secret?”
“Come on, Marc! How could I forget?” Eva asked. “It was only a year and a half ago, and my story in the Yarmouth Courier practically guaranteed me getting my job here at the Bugle.”
“Okay, well, you didn’t hear this from me, but Ruby Keeler and David Manners might be home for Christmas this year!”
“Whaat?” Eva exclaimed in excitement, close to tipping over her cup of coffee. “Home, as in Halifax home? Oh my God, David Manners is sooo handsome and was the best actor in that silly Dracula movie! And I just loved Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street!”
“Neither of them have returned to Nova Scotia for a long time, but what’s that expression that says all Maritimers come home eventually? We did get a reservation at the Hotel from David Manners’s Hollywood agent asking for three room nights over New Year’s, and he said that Miss Keeler may be coming at around the same time. I think she still has relatives in Dartmouth where she was born. But you’ve got to keep this mum for the time being, Eva, because otherwise you won’t get an exclusive interview with either of them.”
“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Marc! She jumped up from the table and kissed him on the cheek. “I read in some movie magazine that David Manners was born in Halifax, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever get to meet him in person!”
“Don’t get too ahead of yourself, kiddo. Halifax is a long way from Hollywood, and we’ll be in the throes of winter at the end of December.”
“True enough, Marc, but this is exciting news, nonetheless. Omigosh, and I loved Ruby Keeler in Gold Diggers of 1933, too!”
Eva started singing “We’re in the Money” from the opening of the movie.
“I think I preferred David Manners in, well, all his movies!” Marc laughed. “The guy can sing, act and sure is easy on the eyes!”
“Now you’re showing your true colors,” Eva said, teasing. “By the way, I was going to ask you how your friendship is going with that waiter, Ian. Ian Leslie, I think you said his name was?”
Marc sipped his coffee as a needed pause before he answered.
Bruce W. Bishop is a former award-winning travel and lifestyle writer based in Nova Scotia, Canada. 'Uncommon Sons' is the second novel in his series, Families' Storytelling. It is interlinked to his debut novel, 'Unconventional Daughters'.