This is my first time participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesdays, a link-up hosted at Bibliophile by the Sea.
I must begin with a bit of a story. About a week ago, I received an email from one of the book tour blogs to which I subscribe, telling of an upcoming book tour for Murder at Honeychurch Hall. I love me some cozy mysteries, so I responded quite quickly, and was a little saddened to find out that the tour was already full! Well, I had already done the rounds of the authors website and GoodReads page, etc. A short time later, I received an email from Hannah Dennison herself, thanking me for making the first comment at her new site, and offering to send me an advanced reading copy of the selfsame book! And guess what came in my mail today? WOOHOO! I tried to explain my glee to my 11 year old daughter by saying it would be like her getting a preview of the newest Halo toy before the general public.
On to the book! The scheduled publication date is May 13, 2014, but is available for pre-order now!
Murder at Honeychurch Hall former TV celebrity host Kat Stanford is just days away from starting her dream antique business with her newly widowed mother Iris when she gets a huge shock. Iris has recklessly purchased a dilapidated carriage house, on an isolated country estate, Honeychurch Hall, several hundred miles from London. When Kat arrives at the house, she discovers that Iris has yet another surprise in store. Iris has been writing in secret for years and reluctantly reveals that she’s actually Krystalle Storm, the famous bestselling author of steamy bodice-rippers. The gentry upstairs and those below stairs at Honeychurch Hall regard the newcomers with suspicion and distrust. When the nanny goes missing, the loyal housekeeper ends up dead, and Iris is accused of the murder, Kat realizes she hardly knows her mother at all and wonders if she is—indeed—guilty. Although the six hundred year old estate has endured wars, corruption and Royal favors, it’s the scandals, secrets and lies of the last few decades that must remain buried at all costs.
So I tore open the envelope and delved into the book. First chapter having been read, I sat down here to wax lyrical about it. Since I had already read the first couple of paragraphs on the book tour announcement, I thought I would include a few short paragraphs from the middle of Chapter 1.
"And besides," she added. "Alfred helped."
"And Alfred is whom? Your Spanish boyfriend?" Nothing would surprise me at this point.
"Alfred is hardly a Spanish name, dear. A Spanish name would be Juan or perhaps Pablo," said Mum mildly. "Alfred is my brother."
I swear I stopped breathing. "I didn't know you had a brother."
"Well, I do," said Mum. "As a matter of fact I had two - though Billy's dead and gone. Aneurism on Blackpool Pier. He died young. So very sad."
"So I must have cousins. I'd love to have cousins."
"You wouldn't like them."
"I would like them." I could feel my temper rising as I remembered envying my friends' big families, especially at Christmas. I hated being an only child. Did Dad know you had brothers?"
"Of course he knew. He just didn't like them so we didn't see them," said Mum. "Does it matter?"
"Actually, it does matter," I said. "I always thought you and Dad were orphans."
"Really? I wonder why?"
"Because that's what you told me," I shouted.
"Well, never mind all that," said Mum briskly. "You'd better get cracking if you want to be here in time for tea."
I hope you enjoyed this preview. Here are a picture and some links for you to check out: