Minette is kidnapped and held for ransom by Malcolm Macbeth. Jimmy confers with Jessica and decides to try duping the bad guy by substituting the diamonds. The criminal, not being stupid substitutes the cat. Jimmy is snatched from the beach in reprisal and a threatening call is made to the castle. The bad guys have no idea what they are up against. The Cummings family is no ordinary bunch of Americans. Malcolm Macbeth is trying to branch out on his own. He holds Jimmy and the cat in an old disused lighthouse north of the Isle of Skye. Jessica followed by Alistair and Valerie come to the rescue.

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Excerpt from Trouble At Castle Duncan

It was Sunday of that very same weekend, when an old Morris Minor lumbered into the village of Strath Glenn. The rusty old vehicle stopped in the forecourt of the Dragon and Daisy Inn. A stranger to those parts climbed from the vehicle; he was an ugly individual, with staring eyes and cauliflower ears. The stranger slammed the rickety car door and walked to the entrance of the inn. He was tall and had the untidy remnants of curly hair. With an air of self-confidence, he walked to the bar. At this time of day there were only a couple of locals seated in the main barroom.

‘Double Scotch,’ the stranger growled.

The barman leaned over the counter and raking out his ear with his little finger, he replied, ‘I dinnae hear all o’ that sentence.’

‘I said, a double Scotch,’ the stranger growled again.

‘Aye, I thought that’s what I heard. The whisky’s free, but my labour fer pouring it’ll be two poond five. Could be even less if the request comes with a little civility.’

‘What?’ the stranger gasped.

‘Have ye never heard o’ please or thank ye?’

The stranger smiled, showing his equally ugly teeth - or what there was of them.

‘A double Scotch, if ye please.’

‘Ah, right it is, sir. Would ye be wanting it in a glass?’

‘However you please,’ the stranger said. ‘I’m looking for room and board. I hear there’s a castle aroond these parts that taks boarders.’

The barman poured the whisky and slid the glass to the stranger.

‘We never board people we doon’t even ken the name of.’

‘Ah. I’m Malcolm Macbeth, from Glasgee.’

‘Well, Mr Malcolm Macbeth from Glasgow, we frown upon Macbeth as ’twas he who slew Duncan, ye ken, in ad 1040.’

Macbeth took the whisky and glared at the barman.

‘Maybe I’ve come tae mak amends. So is there a castle hereaboots - a castle of the dragon lady?’

‘Aye,’ the barman said slowly. ‘’Tis the house of the McDuncans. I think ye’ll no be welcome there wi a name like Macbeth.’

‘Do they board guests?’


‘Do you?’


‘Is there anywhere hereaboots where I can get a bed?’


Macbeth downed the whisky in one shot, pulled an ugly grimace and walked to the exit.

‘I need somewhere to stay,’ he said, turning back to face the barman.

‘Aye,’ the barman said. ‘I think ye’ll be finding it wi Sergeant McBain if ye dinnae pay for spirits before ye leave here.’

‘Oh, sorry,’ Macbeth said and took a crisp note from his wallet. ‘So where is this castle of the dragon lady?’

The barman took the money and began counting out change, then said, ‘We only have two roads, one in and one oot. I do believe if ye came here on one, then you should leave on the other.’

Climbing back into his old car, Macbeth mumbled to himself about the inhospitality of these hayseed highlanders. After multitudinous cranks, the engine fired, banged and spluttered into life. With a few hard presses of the accelerator, the engine began to fire evenly and with a cloud of smoke from burning oil, the rattletrap proceeded in a northerly direction. The distance from the village to the castle gate is a mere 2 miles or, as Alistair would say, just 3 and a bit kilometres. The road actually proceeds to the crag, if you could call it a road.

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Pie tiramisu soufflé caramels. Wypas dragée cake bonbon halvah. Tiramisu jujubes cheesecake powder toffee chocolate cake. Sweet roll lemon drops pastry gummies fruitcake liquorice. Tart jelly-o cheesecake lollipop tiramisu chupa chups ice cream gummies gummi bears.

Gummi bears topping jelly beans gingerbread. Cotton candy biscuit tootsie roll jujubes apple pie. Ice cream topping powder pudding dessert wypas caramels gummi bears tart. Chocolate dessert faworki dessert halvah pie icing chocolate chocolate cake.

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Trouble At Castle Duncan - kindle/paperback trilogy