Lady Anne and the Menacing Mystic Lady Anne Addison Historical Mysteries Book 4 by Victoria Hamilton Genre: Historical Mystery
Lady Anne is in Bath staying with her mother and grandmother while planning her nuptials and awaiting the arrival of Lord Darkefell. Word reaches her of a profoundly accurate mystic working in town, and while she doesn't believe in such things, she's eager to visit for an hour of harmless entertainment.
But the Mystic of Bath seems to know things, and her dark pronouncements have a decidedly harmful affect on Lady Anne's friends--and may have led a gentle and well-liked local cleric to take his own life. Or… did someone else have a hand in his death? He had secrets and enemies, Lady Anne learns.
Convinced that the woman's predictions are all part of larger scam, possibly in league with other mysterious individuals who have become prominent on the Bath scene, Lady Anne must navigate the swirling rumors and murky affiliations of Bath society to unmask the charlatan for what she is and discover the real culprit behind a tragic death.
Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. Victoria is the national bestselling author of four mystery series: the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, the Merry Muffin Mysteries, the Lady Anne Addison Historical Mysteries and the Gentlewoman's Guide Regency Mysteries. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Her latest adventure in writing is a Regency-set historical mystery series, starting with A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder! Don't miss out on this bold, adventurous series featuring gentlewoman Miss Emmeline St. Germaine, a young lady intent on defying every expectation that she will be demure and retiring; she's a lady with a dagger, and she knows how to use it.
She is also continuing the Lady Anne Addison mystery series with a new title, The Menacing Mystic, coming July 7th, 2020. Later this year there will also be a new Merry Muffin Mystery, Double or Muffin.
Victoria loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!
She now happily writes about vintage kitchen collecting, muffin baking and dead bodies for publisher Beyond the Page.
Visit Victoria at: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com for availability of her books, some of which have also been published in Large Print and Audio formats!
You can find out more about her and all of her series at her website, as well as on Facebook and Pinterest.
Creating the Difficult Heroine By Victoria Hamilton
"I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." - Jane Austen, on writing ‘Emma’.
Lady Anne Addison… wealthy, opinionated, passionate and particular. I had in mind Jane Austen’s infamous words concerning Emma Woodhouse when I created Lady Anne; I was pretty sure some readers would not like how outspoken and challenging she could be. My thoughts were prophetic. I have indeed seen some criticism of Lady Anne, in particular concerning her treatment of her love interest, the intensely magnetic Anthony, Marquess of Darkefell. One reviewer was particularly put off and said no man would fall in love with a woman like Lady Anne, who talked back, was stubborn, and refused to do as she was told.
But… I beg to differ. Some men… maybe. But there are and always will be men who are unafraid of being challenged by strong women. The marquess is one such man.
In creating Lady Anne Addison, a Georgian era daughter of an earl, I had in mind several Georgian and Regency ladies who truly existed. The foremost pattern for Lady Anne Addison and another heroine I created (Miss Emmeline St. Germaine, heroine of my book A Gentlewoman’s Guide to Murder) is the forthright, intelligent and self-reliant Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley), writer, philosopher and women’s rights advocate.
At one point in the first book of the Lady Anne Addison mystery series, Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark, she expresses her frustration that she lacks the formal education that would have put her on an equal grounding with the men about her. Mary Wollstonecraft addressed just that issue in her treatise, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) in which she argues that women are not mentally inferior to men, they just appear to be so because of tragically inferior education. She was a true revolutionary, and I think she would have been in complete sympathy with Lady Anne, who worries that marriage will unutterably change her life for the worse, since after marriage her identity will merge with her husband’s. In essence, she will become her husband’s chattel, something, as Anne states in my current release, between a beloved pet and a favourite carriage.
I think that the reviewer who criticized Lady Anne’s stubborn refusal to back down to the marquess’s commanding manners did not consider how she would deal with such a society. Every single right we have today, as women, was unheard of then; free movement to go where we want when we want; our own money; our own bodies, and decisions when and if we wish to have children. Imagine a world without those rights (some women in today’s world don’t need to imagine it, it’s how they live) and think how you’d do.
So Lady Anne’s behaviour, though it may seem outrageous to some, is the result of strong feelings and a determination to be herself. And there will always be men who appreciate that.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s life was, in so many ways, tragic, but it was not without love, and her widower was left heartbroken by her death after childbirth. So though some may dislike Lady Anne Addison’s stubbornness and independence, I think more will like her joie de vivre, her resolute passion for life.
It’s why I don’t regret creating, in Lady Anne, a woman for all time, a woman of spirit and independence… a woman not every reader will appreciate. For the Georgian era she may have been somewhat of an anomaly, but she is not alone in her time in her determination to live life on her own terms.
I hope readers enjoy that about her! Happy reading, my friends. ~::~
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