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  • Writer's pictureJames Sargent

Shadow of the Hawk

As Mickey Mathews, Frank Tuttle, and their new wives spend their first married night in Mackinaw City, Michigan, President Franklin Roosevelt’s cousin and Thomas Dewey’s nephew are kidnapped – just a few miles away! After crossing the Straits of Mackinac on a car ferry, the happy couples travel to their destination, the cabin of the Mathews family on Big Manistique Lake near Curtis, in the Upper Peninsula. Asked by the White House to join the manhunt, Mickey and Frank, helped by four friends of Chippewa descent, pursue the kidnappers. As Mickey and his friends zero in on the criminals and their captives, a new threat looms. Five German prisoners of war escape from a camp near Munising and hide out at the lake, not far from Patty and Norma Jean at the Mathews’ cabin. Can Mickey and Frank save the day? Mickey Mathews mystery #3, Shadow of the Hawk (Wynwidyn Press, 2020).

QUOTE from pages 43-44:

Twenty minutes later, Mickey parked his Chevy in one of two slots marked Visitor beside the sheriff’s low red brick headquarters on Davis Street, a block north of Main. On the front sidewalk the sheriff was waiting with the same deputy.

When Mickey reached them, Janowski said, “I’m sorry, I forgot my manners. I want you to meet my son, Deputy Tommy Janowski.”

Tommy, a green-eyed, brown-haired, athletic type in his middle twenties stepped forward, touched his hat in salute, and grinned. “I’m pleased to meet you, Mister Mathews.”

“Call me Mickey, and thanks. I’m glad to know you.”

“Let’s go inside,” said the elder Janowski. He clumped through the door on his hand-tooled brown and navy cowboy boots. Inside, amid the smell of stale cigarette smoke, he pointed to a small office on the left with an old oak desk, a matching chair, two metal file cabinets, and a tall window with the shade drawn against the sun. “You can use this room.”

Mickey thanked him, closed the door, and sat at the desk, looking around at the bare walls. The place was drab, like nobody ever lived or worked there. Dialing 0 for Operator, he moved around in the chair to get comfortable. When a nasal-voiced woman came on the phone, he gave her the number, TW-5000. “I’ll pull-ace your call, sir.”

After listening to static for several seconds, Mickey heard Becker’s firm voice, although the head of the Detroit Bureau sounded like he was talking in a tunnel. “Is that you, Mathews?”

Yeah, John.” Mickey allowed his irritation to color the greeting. “What’s so urgent you have to call me on my honeymoon?”

“I’m acting on orders from Edgar Hoover, and you don’t tell him no.” Becker sounded like he wasn’t having a good day, so Mickey dropped his attitude.

“On Saturday, the same day you got married, the Secret Service lost touch with President Roosevelt’s young cousin, Martin Delano, who’s twenty-nine, and Brendan Dewey, the nephew of Thomas Dewey, who’s twenty-eight. Governor Dewey, as you know, is running on the Republican ticket for President against Roosevelt.”

“That’s two days ago, John. What happened?”

“That’s just it. We don’t know. Those two young men might have been kidnapped. They’re longtime buddies, and they were traveling to St. Ignace to check on investing in a hotel, a luxury operation, you know, to compete with the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.”

Mickey was listening carefully. “So you don’t know if they’ve been kidnapped, right?”

“We’re strictly off the record here, Mathews, remember that. Here’s the problem. In the past, these two …. I won’t say young fools, but you get the idea.” A few seconds of silence followed, making Mickey think Becker regretted his verbal slip.

“These two young men, who could be future leaders of our country, have gone on more than one bender … once for two days. And nobody has heard from them since Saturday night about nine o’clock.”

Becker’s voice rose a notch. “They had reservations to stay at the Straits Hotel in Mackinaw City. We know because when they travel, they have Secret Service protection. Delano and Dewey ate dinner at the hotel. They have not been seen since that night. I’ve had two agents quietly checking the area since Sunday at noon. So far, they have nothing, I mean zero.”

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