Prue’s job is to uncover secrets, but she hides a few of her own. When she is framed for murder and cast into Newgate, her one-time lover comes to her rescue. Will revealing what she knows help in their hunt for blackmailers, traitors, and murderers? Or threaten all she holds dear?
Enquiry agent David solves problems for the ton, but will never be one of them. When his latest case includes his legitimate half-brothers as well as the lover who left him months ago, he finds the past and the circumstances of his birth difficult to ignore. Danger to Prue makes it impossible.
About the author
Jude Knight writes historical romance and suspense stories from her home in Featherston, in the Wairarapa valley north of Wellington. And on the commuter train going back and forth from the capital. And in cafés, doctors’ waiting rooms, bus stops, airports…
Jude has been writing all her life, but put fiction aside for child-raising and income earning. That didn’t stop the stories, but it stopped her writing them down, and she now has a head full of stories, that keep echoing till she gets them on paper.
Several genres proved to be false starts, till a daughter gave her a Mary Balogh book to read on a flight from Auckland to Wellington. She binged on historical fiction for months before starting one of her own.
Several of Jude’s loves came together in the books she was reading, and have set her a goal for her own stories:
- meticulous research that underpins but doesn’t dominate the story — the people and plot need to be true to the time
- finely drawn characters whose personal needs and failings drive the plot — Jude loves action and mystery, but for her, people are what makes a story
- excellent use of language —descriptions and dialogue that suck the reader into the story; words used with precision
- a happy ending, which means that the reader has seen enough of the characters to have some confidence that they’ll be able to weather the troubles that inevitably lie ahead.
To the claim that ‘happy endings are a myth’, Jude says all endings are an artificial construct. Stories impose a structure on reality. Writers choose which parts of a story to tell; where to begin and where to end. Jude chooses to give her characters a hopeful future.
Excerpt from Revealed in Mist
David worried that he’d not find Mist in the crowded market, but it was easy. He turned to her like a needle to a lodestone, recognising her by her walk, though she was enveloped in a cloak and hampered by a large basket. He waited for her to send the maid with her off with a full basket of packages, and fell into step beside her.
“Here, let me carry that.” She relinquished the basket.
“You are working for Lady Georgiana,” she commented.
“And you for Tolliver. So who is the spy?” he countered. “The courtesan? One of her admirers?”
“Your client perhaps?”
“She has commissioned to me to find a blackmailer who is threatening her friend.” A secret shared, though not one that would threaten his client or his investigation, since Mist knew he had been meeting Lady Georgiana and could easily guess the rest. It would make no difference, unless Mist was inclined to block his investigation out of spite.
“Miss Diamond is being blackmailed?” Prue asked.
“Yes. And Lord Jonathan Grenford. But I expect you knew that, since his brother Aldridge was Tolliver’s informant.”
No. He had caught the startled widening of the eyes before she controlled her face. Tolliver was keeping secrets again. “He didn’t tell you, did he?”
Mist changed the subject. “I need to run the last of my errands. I sent the maid home with the meat and vegetables.”
“I will carry your basket. We can both progress more quickly if we share information, but if you wish, I will merely be your pack horse.”
Some thought quirked her mouth in a smile, but she said only, “I need to buy spices, sugar, tea, and chocolate.”
High-value items, trusted to the housekeeper but not to lesser members of the household. David nodded.
“I don’t have much to report, yet,” he said. “Lady Georgiana gave me the names of several possible victims, and I followed Lord Selby for most of last night. He has unpleasant taste in pleasures, that man. I’ve met with Aldridge and heard how his brother became involved. Aldridge has told the boy to stay clear of Lily Diamond until this is all cleared up.”
“Then Lord Jonathan didn’t listen. He took Miss Diamond driving yesterday afternoon, attended her party last night, and then went up to bed with her. He’s there yet, I imagine.”
“The devil he is!” David opened the door to the tea emporium, and the fragrance of enfolded them. They stopped just inside the door to savour it for a moment, and exchanged smiles when each realised what the other was doing.
This was the way back. To treat her as a partner and friend; to be careful and respectful. If he wanted her back, that is. His heart said yes, but it was a foolish organ, and he couldn’t bear the pain of another rejection. He’d played the scene over and over in his mind in the months since. She had said nothing. Just left without looking back, still rosy from the bed they’d shared. His feelings still raw, he’d let her go. A thousand times since, he’d wished he could go back and just calmly ask her what was wrong, instead of shouting at her.
David drew on a lifetime reserve of discipline to conceal his thoughts. He didn’t need her or any woman. He would not pant after her like a fool.
Genre: regency mystery, historical suspense, regency noir, gothic, historical romantic suspense
Heat rating: PG-13
Page count: 390 pages on Kindle
Publication date: 13 December 2016