Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Illusion of Desire released!

The Illusion of Desire has been released!

I am very pleased to let everyone know that my latest mystery in the Second Sons Inquiry Agency series of Regency mysteries is finally available, at least if you have a Kindle or other ebook reader that can access Smashwords. I expect the paperback will follow soon, as well as distribution to for Nook readers and the iStore for Apple. It is always such a joy--and relief--to see a new book on the shelf.

The Illusion of Desire is the fourth book in the Second Sons Inquiry Agency series and features a new inquiry agent, Captain Nicholas Ainsley. I plan to write another Pru and Knighton book for the series this summer, which will be the fifth in the overall series and the third for Pru and Knighton. They are going to Europe for their honeymoon and unfortunately, run into a great deal of trouble on the way.

Here is the blurb and a small excerpt from The Illusion of Desire.

The war with Napoleon may be long over, but Captain Nicholas Ainsley is still feeling the effects in his
maimed left arm and need for justice. In a stroke of luck, he gains employment as an inquiry agent for the famous Second Sons Inquiry Agency, but his first case is a troubling one. The Earl of Taunton is killed and Nicholas soon finds not one but far too many suspects. On the night the earl died, a pair of thieves broke in and stole the jewel-encrusted murder weapon. Some believe the thieves killed Taunton during the robbery, however Nicholas uncovers others with even stronger motives for wanting the earl dead. Taunton had a penchant for provoking jealousy and rage in those around him and hiding his more illicit activities behind a series of illusions including his relationship with his supposed mistress, Kathryn Whitethorn-Litton.

Kathryn had excellent reasons to trade respectability for a tenuous place in the earl’s household. She believes her father’s death at Taunton’s country estate years ago was not the natural one the earl claimed.

Was Taunton’s murder related to that far older mystery, or was his stabbing an act of desperation? The riddle tests Nicholas’ mettle and his willingness to rip away the veils of illusion surrounding the earl’s life to reveal the truth.

In this scene, Captain Ainsley is questioning Kathryn Whitethorn-Litton, the murdered man's supposed mistress. While Kathryn was not in the house when the earl was killed, she was on a mission that she dare not reveal to the Captain.
Kathryn laughed. “Why should they? No. They will not, and I will not give you their names. Why are you questioning me?”

“Please, I beg your indulgence. Let me confirm, then, that the last time you claim to have seen Lord Taunton was last night at nine p.m.?” Captain Ainsley asked.

“Yes, of course. Ask Harry if you don’t wish to bother Lord Taunton. He can confirm that I have told you the truth. He and Taunton spend a great deal of time together. If you wish to know who spent the evening with Taunton, you must ask Harry.”

“I have spoken with Mr. Silsbury. He indicated he heard a woman speaking with Lord Taunton late—sometime after midnight, I believe.”

“He could have been requesting water for a bath.” She shrugged. “Did Harry say he heard me?”

“Yes. He indicated it was your voice.”

“How could he? I was not here at midnight.” She sighed and felt the stirrings of impatience. “If you are concerned about this matter, then you must ask Lord Taunton. He can surely tell you what you want to know and identify the woman he spoke to last night. Although I am quite sure he was simply asking a maid for some everyday item like a towel or fresh soap. It is not unheard of, you know.”

A few moments of silence followed this, and once again her confusion stirred. Why did he persist in asking her about Lord Taunton?

“You must realize, surely…” His words trailed off. He studied her, a speculative gleam in his brown eyes.
More and more, she had the feeling that she was unaware of something terrible. There was some fact she ought to be aware of and yet she was not. What had happened while she accompanied Mary Dudley? The sensation of missing a critical point grew almost unbearable. Her fingers twisted together in her lap, stiff and damp.

“Lord Taunton is no longer in a position to answer my questions.” Captain Ainsley leaned forward, his right hand gripping his knee. “He died last night.”

I hope you enjoyed the small snippet. If you are interested, here are the links for the book on Smashwords and Amazon:

Thanks and have a great week!

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