Summer of Secrets
“An inspired premise and compelling characters make the third in this series the best to date” – Kirkus Reviews
“Harrison continues the Victorian adventures of unlikely sleuths Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins.
“The more celebrated Dickens has taken Collins under his wing and procured an invitation for him to a house party at the estate of Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton, whose literary work leaves Collins cold.
“The staid party is shaken up when Lady Rosina Bulwer-Lytton arrives after a long separation, part of which she’s spent in one of those posh lunatic asylums where unhappy men hide their troublesome wives.
“Collins finds Rosina charming and takes her part against Bulwer-Lytton and his loathsome secretary, Tom Maguire, whom Rosina easily bests when he tries to get rid of her. Meanwhile, Dickens’ son Charley has fallen for Nelly, the lovely young actress who’s been hired along with her mother, the well-known actress Frances Jarman, to help stage one of Bulwer-Lytton’s plays, with guests playing the other parts. Taking Bulwer-Lytton’s place at the dress rehearsal, Maguire is shot dead.
“Was he the intended victim, or was it a case of mistaken identity? Dickens and an estate dog he befriended saved Nelly from an attempted rape by Maguire that gives Nelly one motive and Rosina another. Resolved to protect them both for different reasons, Dickens and Collins cleverly misdirect the police as they seek a satisfactory solution.
“An inspired premise and compelling characters make the third in this series the best to date.” – Kirkus reviews
Death of a Prominent Citizen
By Cora Harrison
“A classic golden-age mystery whose shocking solution will appeal to fans of Christie and Sayers.”
“Money is the root of all evil, according to the Reverend Mother – but is it the motive for her cousin’s murder?
“Wealthy widow Charlotte Hendrick had always promised that her riches would be divided equally between her seven closest relatives when she died. Now she has changed her mind and summoned her nearest and dearest, including her cousin, the Reverend Mother, to her substantial home on Bachelor’s Quay to inform them of her decision. As Mrs Hendrick’s relatives desperately make their case to retain a share of her wealth, riots break out on the quays outside as the flood waters rise …
“The following morning, a body is discovered in the master bedroom, its throat cut. Could there be a connection to the riots of the night before – or does the killer lie closer to home? In her efforts to uncover the truth, the Reverend Mother unearths a tale of greed, cruelty, forbidden passion … and cold-blooded malice.”
- Review by KIRKUS REVIEWS
Winter of Despair
By Cora Harrison
Published September 30, 2019
Wilkie Collins must prove his brother is innocent of murder in the second of the compelling new Gaslight mystery series.
November, 1853. Inspector Field has summoned his friends Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins to examine a body found in an attic studio, its throat cut. Around the body lie the lacerated fragments of canvas of a painting titled A Winter of Despair.
On closer examination, Wilkie realizes he recognizes the victim, for he had been due to dine with him that very evening. The dead man is Edwin Milton-Hayes, one of Wilkie’s brother Charley’s artist friends. But what is the significance of the strange series of faceless paintings Milton-Hayes had been worked on when he died? And why is Charley acting so strangely?
With his own brother under suspicion of murder, Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens set out to uncover the truth. What secrets lie among the close-knit group of Pre-Raphaelite painters who were the dead man’s friends? And who is the killer in their midst?
Season of Darkness
By Cora Harrison
Published July 1st 2019 by Severn House Publishers ISBN 9780727888761; e-book 9781448302154
Introducing Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as an unusual detective duo in the first of a brand-new Victorian mystery series.
When Inspector Field shows his friend Charles Dickens the body of a young woman dragged from the River Thames, he cannot have foreseen that the famous author would immediately recognize the victim as Isabella Gordon, a housemaid he had tried to help through his charity. Nor that Dickens and his fellow writer Wilkie Collins would determine to find out who killed her.
Who was Isabella blackmailing, and why? Led on by fragments of a journal discovered by Isabella’s friend Sesina, the two men track the murdered girl’s journeys from Greenwich to Snow Hill, from Smithfield Market to St Bartholomews, and put their wits to work on uncovering her past.
But what does Sesina know that she’s choosing not to tell them? And is she doomed to follow in the footsteps of the unfortunate Isabella …?