If Two Are Dead

Thomas Dordrecht in 1762


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A partner of the shipping firm that employs young Thomas Dordrecht was known to be in good health and traveling from Pennsylvania to New York City. Yet his corpse is discovered at dawn in a Manhattan alleyway—and the coroner is unable to specify a cause of death. As the staff grieves, Dordrecht takes it upon himself to parse clues to the man’s inexplicable demise, but he is soon interrupted by a long-planned business venture to the Caribbean. Months later, back at home, still dogged by unsatisfied curiosity, Dordrecht latches onto one fortuitous clue—unusual playing cards found on the victim’s person—and tenaciously pursues the mystery from Long Island across New Jersey to Philadelphia. And once he realizes the victim was murdered in cold blood, he will not rest until he uncovers how, by whom, and why.

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The War Was Over

Or was it? By 1762, Canada had been taken and the upper Hudson valley was calm at last. Yet the war that had started seven years before at the forks of the Ohio still raged in Europe, in India, in the Pacific—and suddenly exploded in the Caribbean. New York City had already enjoyed its moment of victory, and the horrendous fiscal costs of the struggle were fast  becoming clear. Just as our 22-year-old hero is starting his business career, the commercial world is suffering a contraction. As he ventures into international trade, military officials are blaming private commerce for their inability to pay for supplies. And as ordinary people strive to regain a sense of normality, indications bubble forth that vast corruption has infected their society. It’s a dangerous world, still, and its ramifications often manifest themselves in mysterious ways.



Excerpt:  Chapter 1

Real history: Historical Individuals of If Two Are Dead

Curious background facts:  America in 1762

“The Fudge Factor” – The Author’s Confessions!

Maps pertinent to If Two Are Dead

Google Earth If Two Are Dead Tour

The “Dordrecht Family Genealogy”—Updated

Photo Essay: If Two Are Dead sites today



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