1911. Love is in the air. Despite an unfortunate resemblance to her horse, Lady Richenda Stapleford has accepted an offer of marriage. Unbeknownst to those above stairs, Euphemia Martins too has accepted one of her swains. But the course of true love does not run true for upstairs or downstairs... Euphemia, the estranged granddaughter of an Earl who launched her career as a maid in the household of the corrupt MP Lord Stapleford, has now risen to the rank of housekeeper. She is still hoping to find proof of Stapleford's misdeeds so that justice can overtake him. But when a senior member of the wedding party is murdered, it falls to Euphemia to solve that crime instead. As usual, she only has her quick wits, her virtue, and her ever-ready scream to defend herself in what is to become an increasingly diabolical situation...
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Caroline Dunford has previously worked as a psychotherapist, a journalist and a non-fiction author. She has a deep love of story, which she believes is at the heart of human nature. She first declared, at five years old, that she wanted to be a writer but was told there was little options of it being a full time job. Undeterred, she started writing short stories, plays and mini novels. She became known for writing plays at primary school including casting and directing the performances. She then grew up and went to university, studied sensible subjects and decided she didn't like the 'real world' one bit. She started out as a freelance journalist and writer, sending off short stories to every magazine she could find and received rejection after rejection until she learnt to better her writing. As a journalist, she was somewhat of a failure as she didn't like upsetting people and therefore never made it to tabloid press. She then studied a part time degree in psychology, which she enjoyed more than her past studied subjects. Caroline then spent years working with other people helping them shape their personal life stories (she is a Freudian at heart) until she decided to take the plunge and write her own stories full time. She believes that writing fiction is now the only way she can stay sane. Euphemia Martins was partly inspired by the family legend of her great, great grandmother, who ran away from a very rich family and ended up working in service. Unlike Euphemia, she found the life far too hard, but was rescued by a tobacconist, whom she married and with whom she had thirteen children. Murder casts a sharp light over those around it, revealing characters and morality in unique sharpness. What forces one to take the life of another and how those around react reveals so much about human nature and the fragility of society. Caroline finds the period before WW1, when everyone was setting their playing pieces on the board for global conflict fascinating. She is also intrigued by the start of female emancipation and the class-system breakdown that was taking hold. Caroline loves puzzles and finds human beings the most exciting puzzles of all. But above all, she believes life must be enjoyed with humour. We must all bring whatever light we can to the darkness.
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