A Respectable House
- the second in the four-book Furze House Irregulars series - is now out.
This one features Kitty Eastwick - Verity Bowman’s half-sister from A Rational Proposal
- and starts immediately after the end of that book. It was quite a challenge writing the first couple of pages without cramming in a lot of ‘the story so far...’ from book one. I hope I managed it!
Kitty Eastwick is running for her life. Nicholas Dacre is guarding her. Both are scarred in different ways and must learn to trust each other before anything like a happy ending can be reached.
Once again the story stands alone as far as the love story and mystery is concerned, but woven through it is the whole-series conundrum of the ‘shadow master’ Flint.
The ‘respectable house’ (or at least discreet
, as Kitty puts it) of the title refers to Furze House at the top end of Newmarket High Street (which I am convinced ought to be there even though all the maps strangely disclaim any knowledge of it). While I was busy imagining the big, echoing house and adding a laundry, stables, vegetable plot and tiny cottages to the rear, I got a little concerned that I was cramming a lot into quite a modest space.
|Grosvenor Yard cottages, now demolished|
Imagine my absolute joy at discovering pictorial evidence of the old Grosvenor Arms site a few alleys down!
|Old site of Grosvenor Yard, Newmarket|
Grosvenor Yard is now a fairly unlovely car park, but in the past there was a large inn (with a ‘jug and bottle’ for off-sales), a decent sized courtyard, an old farmhouse and - yes - two rows of tiny, terraced one-up-one-down cottages! It is moments like that which make a historical novelist's life so glorious.
We really are embedded in the past!
Photo credits of Grosvenor Yard to the Newmarket Local History Society.