Early morning sunshine cut through the curtains as Glory Whalen opened her eyes. From below, she could hear the sounds of breakfast being prepared, and her mother’s voice chiding her older sister Lena to take an umbrella to school.
Slowly, only somewhat grudgingly, Glory eased herself out from under the warmth of her downy covering, enticed by a late spring sun that was quickly heating up the small room she shared with Lena. Glory crossed over to her wardrobe, and selected her favorite black velveteen dress.
“Glory, dear, are you coming down? You don’t want to be tardy for school.”
Frances Whalen’s voice floated up the stairs again. Her youngest daughter was intelligent and well-mannered; Glory, however, was extremely headstrong for a girl of her age.
Glory slid herself into her dress, plucked her straw hat from the bedpost, and headed down the stairs just as Lena went through the front door in the direction of the railway tracks.
After breakfast, Glory flopped on her hat and started out the door. She stopped at the threshold, looking up into the sky. As she cocked her head upward, the dark tresses of her hair tumbled down over her shoulders. Her mother watched, marveling at how her daughter, framed in the doorway, seemed to have suddenly matured.
“Mother, do you think it will rain?”
Suddenly, Glory was a little girl again.
“You have your umbrella.”
And with that, the girl headed out the door with her umbrella, a satchel containing her books, and a handkerchief with 35 cents tied within its knots.

And so begins the tale of Glory Whalen, who walked out her front door on the morning of May 27, 1903, and was never seen alive again. A day later, her body was found a few feet from the railway tracks running through the south end of Collingwood.

Glory: A Lamentable Condition of Affairs follows the efforts of the local police chief and a provincial detective to solve the case, as well as a cast of characters who emerged as the investigation progressed.

A revised edition is now available for download ($1.99).

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