Title: Unnatural Fire ***SIGNED***
Publisher: William Morrow, NY
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by Author on Full Title Page
Edition: 1st American Edition, 1st Printing.
First Edition, First Printing with full number line. Signed, without inscription, by author on the FULL title page. Near Fine book in Near Fine dust jacket. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box with Delivery Confirmation. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in protective clear wrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 011638
Restoration London, 1699-Anastasia Ashby de la Zouche, Baroness Penge, Countess of Clapham, and former mistress to King Charles 11, as fallen on hard times. jailed in the notorsious debtors' prison, the Fleet, the Countess finds her only way out is to embark on a career selling sensational and explicit stories to one of London's leading tabloids.
Joining forces with her loyal ex-maidservant Alpiew, the formerly pampered and proper Countess sets out to make a living by working for he scandal sheets --a line of work that inevitably leads her through some of the seamier highways and byways of the city. And she and Alpiew even find a welcome additional source of income when they are approached by a stranger who asks them to follow her husband and gather evidence to prove he's committing adultery. But the uncomfortable job of trailing after the handsome merchant in the depths of winter-whether to the half-constructed St Paul's Cathedral or through the notorious dives south of the Strand ends abruptly in Covent Garden churchyard with a brutal murder.
Implicated in the crime, the Countess and Alpiew find themselves drawn into a complex labyrinth of deceit and violence-the key to which might lie in the mysterious world of alchemy. And the more they investigate, the more complex the picture becomes, involving everyone from the most decrepit back-alley criminals to some of the most influential people in all the land.
Unnatural Fire is a wonderfully funny, lively, and audacious novel with a cast of characters that leap off the page. But underlying the vivacity and humor is a riveting mystery that perfectly captures the dark and bawdy underbelly of life in London at the turn of the eighteenth century.
Review: A boisterous, bawdy romp through Restoration England, Unnatural Fire introduces a pair of unlikely heroines and sets them on a merry chase through London just before the dawn of the 18th century. The Countess Ashby de la Zouche has lost her place in society with the death of Charles II, her former paramour, and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, a swindler who's gone to America to seek his fortune. Languishing in debtor's prison, she's soon rediscovered by her erstwhile maid Alpiew, whose circumstances aren't much better than her former employer's. But the two women swiftly discover how to turn their shared fondness for gossip into a tidy livelihood as stringers for an infamous scandal sheet. Hired by a wealthy matron to get the goods on her philandering husband, they stumble on a murder that sets this fast-paced, funny story in motion. The mystery mixes royal intrigue, theatrical shenanigans, cross-dressing strangers, and secret formulas into a delicious potion brewed by an actor and playwright who specializes in Restoration comedy. Author Fidelis Morgan's thorough familiarity with the period informs every paragraph of this delightful historical romp. --Jane Adams
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