What a delight.
Daring Duplicity, The Wellington Mysteries, Vol.1 by Edale Lane released in January in the mystery, steampunk, Victorian, LGBTQ+ genre.
Solving mysteries is her business. Finding love is her dream. Will combining the two get her killed?
Victorian Era England. Stetson revels in being unconventional. So when society shies away from her independent nature, the bold woman creates an imaginary boss and opens her own detective agency. And her keen observational skills, convincing disguises, and Holmesian methods quickly bring in a string of tough-to-crack cases.
Struggling to squeeze a personal life in around a series of hazardous investigations, Stetson worries she’ll never find a woman of like-passions. But with her heart set on true love despite the risk, she carries on hunting for the perfect relationship.
Will her clever escapades lead to death… or delight?
Daring Duplicity: The Wellington Mysteries, Vol. 1, Adventures of a Lesbian Victorian Detective is a collection of five sequential novellas, each encompassing its own exciting mystery while furthering the story of Stetson’s life in London. If you enjoy crime dramas, Victorian era fiction, or a sweet lesbian romance, then you’ll love award-winning author Edale Lane’s Daring Duplicity. Order yours today!
Jewel gripped her own gloved hands and scanned the room anxiously. “It is a matter of the utmost discretion,” she began in a tone much more demanding than she had intended. “It is of a personal nature, you see,” she continued more gently and forced a polite smile. “May I speak with Mr. Wellington in private?”
Miss Goody responded with a pleasant smile of her own. “I’m afraid that will not be possible. Mr. X is extremely successful in foiling criminals because of his anonymity. In fact, no one has ever seen him but me. All correspondence between the investigator and the clients goes through his assistant—me. So how this works is, you tell me the specifics, I talk to him, and he gives me a list of questions to ask, and so forth. I assure you, anything you say to me will be kept in the strictest of confidence, just as if you were conversing with the detective himself.”
“I see.” The assistant paused for a moment before continuing and her attention fell on Miss Goody for the first time, being specifically drawn to ample breasts squeezed into her buttoned waist coat. It required conscious effort for Jewel to raise her gaze, but doing so she became captivated by two warm, caring cognac eyes. “Very well, then. I am being blackmailed, and the nature of the information being held over me makes it impossible to go to Scotland Yard, or a constable, or even my father, for the money. I receive an allowance, not enough to meet the foul villain’s demands, but sufficient to cover your agency’s fees and expenses I’m sure.”
“I see,” she replied with a soft expression of compassion. “Was the man you were seen with married, or simply from the wrong side of the tracks?”
“Well,” Jewel stammered, cleared her throat, and fixed her gaze on a painting on the wall. “Not exactly. And he has a photograph.”
Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who is realizing her dream of being a full-time writer. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. After driving an 18-wheeler cross-country for eight years, she now lives with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.
Inspiration of an Excerpt: Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique
Long before I published a novel, drove an 18-wheeler, operated a farm, taught school, directed a church choir, became a wife and mother, I was a musician. I still am. Once music is in you, it is there to stay. My sister is a fabulous pianist and organist and my mother, former drum major of the University of Southern Mississippi marching band, was a lead soprano for many years, so I had to follow in their footsteps. Starting piano at nine, I moved my focus to French horn in junior high school. When I got to college, I spent more time on the piano as well because I needed a minor instrument for my music degree.
I’ve never been as proficient on piano as French horn, but I worked hard to be able to play some of my favorite compositions, and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 8 in C minor, Sonata Pathétique, was one of them. (Except the third movement; it was above my level.) Including this piece in a scene holds a special nostalgia for me. I always wanted to write a musician as a character, and when I realized it was going to be impossible for a relationship between Stetson and Jewel to work out, my thoughts snapped back to an exciting and joyful time in my life when it revolved around music. Yes, Stetson’s new love interest will be a musician! At first I thought she would play in the orchestra on violin or maybe cello, but my research ditched that idea, as I discovered in the late 1800’s women were still not allowed to play in orchestras. The piano and voice were the only instruments available to them to play in public. So, piano it was.
An important line in my current work in progress is, “Life is a long game, if you play it right.” I find it interesting at this stage in my life how everything that came before worked together to make me who I am now. I earned my master’s degree in history for two reasons: higher teacher’s salary, and to be better qualified to write historical fiction. Now I get a chance to use my music degree and experience in my novels as well.
Here is the excerpt describing Evelyn Merritt playing Beethoven:
Having received a consensus, Evelyn placed fingers on the keys, her foot ready at the pedal, inhaled a cleansing breath, and began. The somber initial notes of the Grave introduction had been one of her favored selections those first few weeks after Sophie’s death. Soon the dirge gave way to the running melodies and accelerating chords of the Allegro di molto e con brio, with its alternating fortes and pianos. The movement continued to fly and buzz like so many humming birds circling a succulent flower. Her left and right hands answered each other’s phrases until the reprise of the dramatic Grave and conclusion with the recapitulation and swift cadence of the Allegro.
Pausing only a breath while her hands hovered over the keys, Evelyn released her spirit in her favorite part, the Adagio cantabile of the second movement. She realized the piece had been written in Beethoven’s early career when he was only twenty-seven, before he truly departed classicalism to forge a fresh path into the Romantic Era, but feeling the need for expression, she used rubato to slow and speed lines and passages as she was so moved—not to excess, mind you, but as if with reserved passion, not unlike the steps she had taken with Stetson. She poured her soul into the music, and they became one.
The third movement, the Rondo, leapt forward from the first note, incorporating melodies and accompanying elements soundly linking it to the earlier two movements. Swiftly flowing lines danced with chords in a dizzying auditory display, and though it retained its minor key, it infused major episodes for contrast and a more uplifting air.
When the sonata ripped to its exciting finale, Evelyn swiveled around to face her audience of three who politely clapped for her. “Amazing.” She caught Liz’s whisper under her breath.
“That was an interesting tune,” Walter commented. “I don’t recall ever hearing it before. I’m sure no one could sing to it.”
Evelyn’s spirits plummeted as if she had been dropped into musical cretin’s hell.
I hope you enjoy Daring Duplicity, The Wellington Mysteries, Vol. 1: Adventures of a Lesbian Victorian Detective!
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