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Master of the House

277 pages4 hours


Charlie Lampton was a star; Master of the House and as he proclaimed on stage, ‘the best innkeeper in town,’ but he was a slave to his destiny as he lost his wife through a ruptured marriage, his house through the pressure of a massive mortgage and everything he owned to the hands of thieves. With life at its lowest things were destined to get worse when his best friend and theatrical understudy died in suspicious circumstances. It was then a chance meeting with retired Sydney police detective Stephen Haynes did much to restore Charlie’s faith in human nature as the two work together to salvage love and logic from the shattered remains of a brilliant career. It all happens Downtown Sydney. Stephen Haynes, a top police officer whose overindulgence in everything resulted in him degenerating to a high degree, returns to Sydney after a rehabilitating experience on the hills of Tibet. His double agenda has him in town to sell his assets and reunite with his daughter. The indiscretions of earlier times have been lessons in life for Steve from which he has learned well and the years spent on the slopes of the Himalayas have fashioned him into a new and wiser person. Now he is in control to consolidate his relationship with his daughter, sell his property and return to Tibet. At breakfast he meets Charlie Lampton, thespian, who has a leading role in the top musical production in Sydney. Charlie intends to quit the show at the end of the season when it moves to Perth; which is now. There are too many ghosts in Perth for Charlie. Steve and Charlie strike up a sound relationship and Steve learns of the misfortunes that have befallen the actor. Charlie’s best friend and understudy Leslie Due has gone missing in mysterious circumstances and Charlie’s actress wife has run away to New Zealand with her leading man. Charlie’s house has been burgled and everything he owned has been taken; even his car from the garage. He is left only with the clothes he wears. Steve Haynes explains to Charlie it is only a matter of time before all these problems will be solved by the police and those responsible taken to task; except for the wife problem which is a matter of the heart. Charlie tells Steve he has little faith in police methods for there has been a nil result until now.

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