Genre: Historical (Regency) Mystery
Author: JL Buck
An aristocratic spy and a highborn lady cross paths over a dead body.
1811 England seethes with discontent. A self-indulgent prince regent sits on the throne of a country at war with France, on the brink of war with America, and facing growing rebellion at home.
Lucien, Viscount Ware, recently home after four years on the Continent as a spy for England, finds life in the haute ton tedious. He secretly agrees to handle a few delicate matters for the Crown’s private spy unit at Whitehall. A housebreaking at a country houseparty seems a strange assignment until he discovers that a French cipher, the key to Napoleon’s war codes, was among the stolen items. As he follows its trail to London’s notorious rookeries and into its glittering ballrooms, he faces a growing threat of treachery from more than one direction.
Lady Anne Ashburn missed her London season while caring for her invalid mother in the north country. A new nurse allows her to visit relatives, where she becomes embroiled in a blackmail plot. To avoid a terrible scandal, she goes to London to face down the scoundrel threatening her family.
The night of the elegant Christmastide Ball, Lucien finds Lady Anne standing over a corpse. What happens after that—the risks they take, the intrusion of a notorious crime lord, society gossip, and good intentions gone awry—sends them spiraling into danger and potential disaster for England’s war effort.
An ever-twisting plot sure to keep you turning the pages.
GUEST POST; Anything for a Bet!
One of the enjoyable things about writing historical fiction is the interesting tidbits of history you discover during research. One such item was the cricket match at Ball Pond in October 1811.
The Regency period in England was gambling mad. Some men—and women—would bet on anything from the outcome of a sporting event to whether a courtship would last or how long it would take a snake to cross the road.
On this particular occasion—defying society’s belief at the time that women were too delicate for sports—a 500 guinea bet (approx. $17,000 in today’s market) led to the first recorded match of two all-women cricket teams. The match between Hampshire and Surrey counties lasted three days with Hampshire finally winning by fifteen notches. Referred to as a “bawdy” event (see a sketch of the match for sale), the gentlemen organizers immediately arranged for a rematch!
J L Buck began writing full-time after she retired from a legal career with the Juvenile Court System. Over the next few years, she published sixteen urban fantasy/paranormal novels under the pen name of Ally Shields. In 2019, she decided to fulfill a childhood wish to write mysteries, chose a period in history that fascinated her—and began work on the Viscount Ware Mystery series set in Regency England.
Ms. Buck lives in the Midwest with Latte, a mischievous Siamese cat, who attempts to co-author her writing by taking over the keyboard. When not writing or running two blogs, J L Buck enjoys her eight grandchildren (and a great-grandson), reading (preferably on a sunny deck), travel (USA and abroad), and binge-watching any sub-genre of mystery shows.
Twitter (Ally Shields): http://twitter.com/sheildsally
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