Secrets, lies, murders and mysteries abound at Thatcham Hall, a fictional grand country house set in the green, rolling hills of Victorian England.
London, crowded, dirty and prone to London particulars, the pea-souper fogs of the 19th century, is 40 miles or so away, newly accessible along that great feat of engineering, the Great Western railway.
An Independent Woman is the tale of Philomena; a determined orphan from the slums of Victorian London, with a habit of tumbling from one disastrous plan to another, haunted by terrifying dreams of a man with cold green eyes.
Impatient with the social conventions she encounters in the great English country house, Thatcham Hall, she meets and crosses swords with the handsome, widowed Lord Thatcham, complicating life still further by falling for a man with secrets of his own.
Danger at Thatcham Hall, a murder mystery set a few years after An Independent Woman introduces ambitious lawyer Nelson Roberts, embittered by war and jilted by his fiancée, and trusting no one. He jumps at the chance to make a name for himself by solving the mysterious thefts and violence at Thatcham Hall, a country house in Victorian England.
Olivia Martin, headstrong and talented, dreams of a career as a musician and will do anything it takes to avoid a looming miserable fate as a governess.
The pair stumble on a body. Is the farmhand’s death a simple accident, or something more sinister? Who attacked the livestock at the Hall and why are the villagers so reluctant to talk? Can Nelson and Olivia overcome their differences and join forces to unravel the web of evil that imperils the Hall?
Header image by Tom Murphy VII via Wikimedia Commons