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↏ download Format Kindle ⫸ The Counterfeit Lady ❵ ePUB Author Kate Parker ⡧

↏ download  Format Kindle ⫸ The Counterfeit Lady  ❵ ePUB Author Kate Parker ⡧ ↏ download Format Kindle ⫸ The Counterfeit Lady ❵ ePUB Author Kate Parker ⡧ CHAPTER ONEI need you.I looked across the width of the shop counter at the Duke of Blackford and all the blood left my head Pressing my fingers into the wood, I gaped at him as his words echoed in my brain.I never expected to hear him say anything like that to me, Georgia Fenchurch, a middle class bookshop owner Never mind the fevered dreams I had about the duke Broad shoulders, the fragrance of pristine linen and smoke, and a smile reminiscent of his pirate raider ancestors haunted my nights Left speechless, I gazed into his mesmerizing dark eyes I hadnt seen him since spring, but Id thought of him often.Then he added, Miss Fenchurch, Queen Victoria and our country need you, and my lovely daydream of sitting across the breakfast table from those dark eyes rose into the steam that encircled London thanks to a merciless heat wave.Perhaps we should go into my office I nodded to my assistant, Emma Keyes, who was helping a customer, and walked out from behind the counter.We entered my small office in the back of the shop, stuffy now with the unbearable weather, and the duke immediately headed for the window overlooking the alley Before I could tell him the window was stuck, he had it open several inches and had turned to face me Is it safe to speak here I assure you, no one ever lurks in that alley The jeweler next door suffers from paranoia None of the papers stacked by the window were ruffled by the stagnant air I shifted the books piled on both chairs over to the desk and then sat.Well keep our voices down, if you dont mind Blackford pulled his chair close to mine and lowered himself so our knees collided I do beg your pardon.Unavoidable if were going to keep our voices down The contact was sending little trembles of excitement through my body.Theres been a murder and theft that has repercussions on the security of the realm Georgia, we need your help and the help of the Archivist Society He looked straight into my eyes with unflappable seriousness Banging into my knees obviously hadnt flustered him.At least he chose to call me by my first name Did he remember our first investigation together as fondly as I did Why didnt you go straight to Sir Broderick He leads the Archivist Society.Because ultimately its your help, and that of your lodger, that we need.My lodger What in the I dont have a lodger.Lady Phyllida Monthalf.Aunt Phyllida Shes not my lodger She was an integral part of my life We were closer than many families.Aunt Thats even better Then youre a relative, too.Youre not making any sense That wasnt unusual for the duke, at least on the few occasions wed met, but Id never known him to make a mistake on facts I have no relatives.Youre not making any sense, Georgia.Aunt is an honorary title Lady Monthalf saved my life on one of my first investigations Her brother had kept her in appalling circumstances for years When he was arrested for murder and the ghouls on Fleet Street began to circle, I brought her home to live with me.I was acquainted with the gossip at the time The duke could sound appallingly stuffy about the misdeeds of the aristocracy.The truth was worse than the rumors I know I was there It was one of the Archivist Societys first cases I wasnt yet twenty at the time, but Id carry visions of that day to my deathbed In my mind, Lord Monthalf again stood blocking the kitchen door through which Id planned to escape with his latest victim, a battered prostitute named Annie Only Phyllidas strike with a cast iron skillet saved us from death by Lord Monthalfs knife.I shook away the image and wondered what new investigation Blackford wanted our help with And timid Phyllidas help, whod never aided in Archivist Society cases.Tragedy has struck the family again Lady Monthalfs cousin Clara Gattenger has been murdered.Despite his bloodless announcement, I realized my jaw had dropped I snapped it shut before I expressed my dismay This is terrible When What happened Does Phyllida know Last evening And no, no one has been in touch with Lady Monthalf.Then we must tell her immediately.I started to rise, but he waved me back into my chair Georgia, wait Hear me out.Settling myself in my chair, I stared at him Go on.Yesterday evening, raised voices and crashes were heard coming from the locked study by the Gattenger servants Finally, after a minute or two of silence, Kenneth Gattenger came out and shouted for someone to fetch a doctor and the police The police found Clara Gattenger dead in the study There were no signs of a break in Her husbands been arrested and is currently in Newgate Prison.A sad tale, but not one requiring the help of the Archivist Society I waited for the rest of the story Knowing Blackford, there had to be .Do you know the name Gattenger Its Clara Gattengers surname, and her husband Kenneths Other than that, it means nothing to me.Kenneth Gattenger is single handedly keeping Britain in the position of the worlds premier sea power The man is the most brilliant naval architect of our times His designs are visionary HeI shook my head slightly This wasnt telling me anything useful.Perhaps this will make the situation clear Hes designed a new warship This new ship will ensure our naval superiority for years Every other seafaring nation wants to know the designs secrets He leaned forward, pinning me in my chair with his intense stare The plans disappeared from his study last evening.Surely they werent the only copy I still didnt understand what this had to do with poor Claras murder.No, but they represent a radical new concept, and if a set fell into the wrong hands .Germany Our rivalry with Germany was in all the papers I understood this much.He nodded The race would be on Whoever builds the design first wins The balance of power could be irrevocably changed.So if someone stole the design, why is Kenneth Gattenger in prison for killing Clara There was a fire in the fireplace while this argument took place and no sign of forced entry There were only two people behind that locked study door Gattenger could have burned a set of plans in the minutes between the end of the sounds of the scuffle and when he unlocked the door.You want the Archivist Society to discover his guilt or innocence Blackford should have taken the case to Sir Broderick However, I was glad he was here Id forgotten how commanding his voice could be, even when pitched to a murmur.We need to find out what happened to the plans in Gattengers study The entire fate of England rests on recovering them if Gattenger is innocent He leaned back in his chair and made a sweeping gesture If he didnt kill his wife and burn them himself.I didnt believe the fate of England hung in the balance The Admiralty and Whitehall could make a crisis out of misplacing a shopping list How are you involved, Your Grace I havehe studied my face for a momentcontacts in many countries They have proved useful to Her Majesty on occasion, and so Ive been called in again.Do they know youre involving the Archivist Society Not yet It all depends on your aunt, Phyllida.Why Lets talk to her, and all will become clear.I doubted that very much The duke always held something back.Nevertheless, I rose from my chair, being careful not to rub knees with him, and walked back into the bookshop It was nearly one, and the shop was empty Put up the Closed sign, Emma We need to go to the flat His Grace has some bad news for Aunt Phyllida.Emma looked from me to the duke and bit back whatever remark she was on the verge of making She put up the sign, we put on our hats and gloves, and I locked up the shop as we left.The sun blistered the sidewalk and put everyone who dared go out in a foul mood In the short time it took to reach our building, my back was drenched and I needed a cooling drink We went up to our flat and let ourselves in Phyllida called out from the kitchen, Are you here already Luncheons not quite finished.Please come here, Aunt Phyllida We have some news, I replied.She came out into the hall, her sleeves rolled up to her elbows, her hair wildly escaping its knot, and an apron protecting her frock.Lady Phyllida Monthalf, may I present I began.Aunt Phyllida was already in a deep curtsy Georgia, I know who this is He favors his father Please come in, Duke This is a great pleasure.The duke bowed and kissed her hand The pleasure is mine, Lady Monthalf I wish I didnt have to come bearing bad news.Phyllida paled What has happened I put an arm around her and led her forward Perhaps wed better take this conversation into the parlor.We all sat down on ruffled, floral print covered chairs Phyllida unrolled her sleeves, her eyes never leaving Blackfords face Emma glanced at me, looking for signs of what I knew about the bad news.The duke cleared his throat and said, I bring bad news concerning your cousin Clara Gattenger.Phyllida twisted her fingers My cousin Isabels daughter Shes been so happy since she married Kenny She looked from one face to another as she bit her lip What has happened Mrs Gattenger was murdered in her home last night.Phyllida half rose and then sank back down No Not Clara Not poor, dear Clara Have they caught her killer Her husband is in Newgate Prison for her murder, Blackford said.No Thats wrong They were very happy She reached over and grabbed my arm Georgia, cant you do something Kenny would never have murdered Clara.Are you sure, Phyllida I asked.Yes Quite certain She rose and walked over to the open window overlooking the street The lace curtains hung limply across the space without a breeze to stir them Do something, I beg of you She was Isabels only child Her killer must be punished And that isnt Kenny.How far will you go to see her killer apprehended, Lady Monthalf Blackford asked He rose and walked over to her.She stared up into his face, her jaw set As far as necessary.Are you willing to face aristocratic society again, to answer their questions, to put up with their gossip When his sharp voice silenced, his mouth slid into a cruel smile.Phyllida stared into his eyes and for a moment I thought she would burst into tears Slowly, she steadied herself and finally replied, Whatever it takes to find Claras killer and free Kenny.His smile grew joyful I knew I could count on you, Lady Monthalf On behalf of the queen, thank you.I could see only one way to proceed Then I think we need to send a message to Sir Broderick to set up a meeting of the Archivist Society tonight Youll attend, Your Grace He nodded Ill speak to Sir Broderick now, if you ladies will excuse me.Emma and I stood He bowed to Phyllida and Emma, who curtsied, and then he took my arm to escort him to the door I didnt think Id see you again so soon In one regard, Im glad this has happened.He was glad In response, my heart whistled a merry tune and my soul kicked up its heels We stared, facing each other by the door, no longer touching but with an intimacy that had me leaning forward on the balls of my feet His dark eyes smiled before he picked up his top hat and cane from the table by the door.As he moved into the hallway, I said, Im glad you came to us Aunt Phyllida seems set on seeing justice for her cousin, and apparently the police have the wrong man Emma and I want to help her Knowing the duke could open many doors the rest of us couldnt, I asked, May I see the study where the attack took place The servants wouldnt have been allowed to clean it up yet, surely.Ill arrange it for this afternoon Ill pick you up at the bookshop He nodded to me and strode off.I went back into the flat to find Emma and Phyllida putting luncheon on the table Im afraid its justPhyllida stopped to see what shed set on the platter she carriedcold poultry and salad.The platter landed on the table with a thump Oh, Georgia, Emma Im so upset I dont even know what Im serving Her breath caught on a shudder Poor Clara.Im so sorry, Phyllida I gave her a hug and then stepped back so Emma could do the same After we sat at the table and said grace, I said, Ive heard you speak of Clara many times, but not her mother.Phyllida sighed and moved her food around on her plate with her fork Claras mother, Isabel, and I were close as children She married an Admiralty man, Lord Watson Once my brother, William, gained control of my money and my life, he never let me see her again Not even when she was dying.She put her napkin over her mouth and shut her eyes I studied my plate until she said, There I wont be silly Its all in the past But you must find out what really happened to Clara For Isabels sake Its the only thing I can do for her now.I wanted to distract Phyllida from remembering her evil brother as much as I wanted some background on the victim whose death I knew Id soon be investigating I only saw Clara a few times a year when she visited us on a Sunday I thought she was sweet, but I know nothing of her background Tell me about her.She was an only child Her parents both doted on her After Isabels death, she and her father were very close, and her fathers interests were in shipbuilding Thats how she met Kenny Gattenger They were in love from the first time they met, but he wouldnt marry until he had enough money to support her properly, and she wouldnt leave her father on his own They broke off their engagement twice, but they finally married a year ago That was after her fathers death, when his title and property had gone to some cousin.Ken Gattenger wasnt from money No His parents ran a small shop He was apprenticed to a draftsman The man realized Kenny was brilliant and made sure he received a good education As Kenny gained experience, he found powerful patrons Naval architecture became his specialty He was a hard worker and a strict saver All those years of saving made him a little mean with money Clara said he didnt pay the servants well, so she was always having to hire new as soon as one found a better paying post.What kind of couple were they Emma asked.A happy one, Phyllida snapped.No, I mean, were they always fighting and making up Did they entertain a great deal, did they share interests, did they like to travel, things like that Emma gave her a smile.Oh Phyllida turned pink They were quiet They both liked to read, to stay home together in the evening in the study They went out to the theater or to a dinner party on occasion, but that was all Clara was content to visit friends during the day and wait for Kenny to come home to her in the evenings.Did you see her often I asked Besides those Sunday visits when she brought her husband along, did you see her alone Wed have tea once every few weeks after I came to live here, during the day while you were in the shop Shes the only relative I wanted to see after my brothershe shuddereddied.Her brother had been hanged at Newgate Prison, where Gattenger was now However, her brother had murdered a string of East End prostitutes and was captured by the Archivist Society.Wed find a lack of evidence in Gattengers case, I feared, and that would present problems proving his innocence.She was very happy in her new life as a married woman, Phyllida said.Did you see much of Mr Gattenger besides on their Sunday visits No During the week, Clara always came by herself for tea But I saw them together several times over the years of their long engagement, and they were very happy Happy in their own quiet little circle, even when there were other people present Do you understand what I mean They were happy with just each other for company, Emma said.Its than that, theres a whole world two people can share that no one else can enter My parents were like that, I said Sometimes frustrating for me as a child, but beautiful to think back on.Yes Thats how they were, Phyllida said.Last night, the servants heard shouting in the study When the door was unlocked, Clara Gattenger was dead I looked at Phyllida Are you sure everything was all right between them Yes I know evil I lived with my brother long enough Evil had never entered their home They were in love.Glancing at my plate, I found Id finished my luncheon I never tasted a bite. THE DUKE OF Blackford returned to the shop in the middle of the afternoon to tell us what time to be at Sir Brodericks and to escort me to the Gattenger house Even with a hand up, I still had to struggle to get into the tall, ancient carriage given to the dukes family by Wellington Glancing out the window, I saw Emma in the bookshop doorway, grinning at my lack of grace I looked forward to seeing the scene of the crime, but I would rather the duke had used one of his normal sized carriages.The Gattenger home was one of a row of similar houses in a fairly new, middle class section of South Kensington Once the duke caught me around the waist as I half tumbled from the carriage and set me safely on the sidewalk, he walked up the steps and rang the front doorbell I straightened my skirt to give myself a moment to recover from the ridiculous flutter in my chest from his touch I glanced down the steep concrete steps behind the black wrought iron railing and caught a glimpse of a young womans face looking at me before she drew back from the tradesmens entrance.The front door opened and I saw Inspector Grantham standing in the hallway I hurried up the steps as the men exchanged bows and followed the duke inside.Inspector Grantham, is this your case I asked.Yes, Miss Fenchurch I suppose Ill be working with the Archivist Society again He sounded weary I hoped it wasnt due to working with us.Yes Phyllida Monthalf, my friend, is the murdered womans cousin She says the husband couldnt have killed his wife.It gave me no joy charging him The navy has already involved itself in this case because of his importance to British ship design He looked at Blackford I suppose thats why youre interested But theres no evidence supporting his story The inspector spread his hands in the air.May we look at the room where the death occurred I gave Grantham a hopeful smile.The inspector held my gaze for a moment before shrugging If you think you can find something we missed, go right ahead.Detective Inspector Grantham had worked several cases over the years for Scotland Yard that the Archivist Society was interested in, including the one last spring where I had first met the Duke of Blackford I knew he trusted our abilities Whether he liked working with us was another story.The duke led the way down the wide hallway, past the staircase going up and a narrower one going down I followed until we reached a door near the back of the house The duke stopped and let the inspector open it I was the last to enter the small study, making it a little crowded as we moved around None of us stepped near the fireplace with the bloodied hearth rug.The duke strolled to the triple bay window facing the garden With the heat, only the lace curtains were across the open windows, while the heavy dark blue drapes were pushed back to the ends of their rods Were these windows open when you arrived Yes With the dryness of the weather, there were no footprints outside, and the climb wouldnt have been difficult for an agile man The cook says she was in the kitchen, which is by the tradesmens entrance in the front under the dining room The maids were clearing away dinner You saw where the stairs are, and the first door we passed in the hallway leads to the dining room There was no reason for the servants to come this far toward the back of the house, Inspector Grantham said.Therere no back stairs the duke asked.The inspector and I stared at each other in surprise for an instant before we must have had the same thought Hes a duke Not enough room in a house this size, I said Therere only the three servants The cook and two maids Yes, Grantham answered One of the maids heard the argument and stopped to listen Her excuse was the master and missus rarely argued The other came to find her after a minute and heard the end of the argument and the crashes There were two loud noises.Could the servants make out what was said Blackford asked.They said no.Did they try to open the door or knock It was locked.How long before the door I began.A full minute at the very least, Grantham said as if the words hurt his mouth.I took in the room without moving There were two comfortable chairs with ottomans, one on each side of the fireplace Gaslights were set to shine down on those two spots, and a small table by each chair held a stack of books Shelves across the room from the fireplace held a large collection of volumes A desk was set by the window to catch the best light A jumble of papers, pens, ink pots, books, a diary, and a paperweight were scattered across the floor from the desk toward the fireplace, and the desk chair was knocked over in that direction The fireplace held a pile of ash.Where were the plans kept the duke asked.In there Inspector Grantham pointed to a low chest with three drawers across the room from the windows and close by the door.I was told there was a burned fragment of a drawing found in this room Where is it The duke stood facing the inspector with his arms crossed.Grantham stared back, his jaw jutting aggressively Locked up by Scotland Yard until the trial.If they continued to act like schoolboys, Id never learn anything What fragment A small singed piece of the last page of the missing blueprints was found at the edge of the fireplace.I needed to know How many pages are there in one set of plans In this case, seven Its the master from which working drawings are made for the manufacturing process.Are they large Grantham held his arms wide When unfolded, each is this big.Is this the only master set of drawings in existence No, but the other sets are locked up in the Admiralty.Why wasnt this one Gattenger said he had an idea that he needed to work on He sometimes worked from home.In this room At night I had both mens attention now Yes, the inspector said.This was also the room where he and his wife frequently read in the evening.Yes.So from the outside, last night wouldnt have looked any different from any other night But the thief chose last night to strike I looked from one man to the other If the Germans stole the drawings, there would have to be a leak in the office where the drawings are kept Someone would have had to tell the burglar that Gattenger took a set of ship plans home last night The only way that could happen is if theres a traitor in the Admiralty.CHAPTER TWOMY conclusion made me even less popular than I expected The Duke of Blackford looked as if hed like to throw me out the window as he muttered, Bloody hell.Inspector Grantham glared at me Theres no sign of a burglary The Gattengers argued, he killed her, accidentally most likely, and then burned the plans he was working on to cover his guilt and blamed everything on a housebreaker Theres no traitor.Thats the answer you and I and Whitehall want, Blackford said If were wrong, we have a bigger problem than anyone had dared mention before now Thank you, Miss Fenchurch, for ruining my day.His dark eyes bored through me, making it hard to breathe I reached out a white gloved hand and grabbed his sleeve You think Im right, dont you That Gattengers story is true.His answer meant to me than I wanted to admit, even to myself He continued to glare at me without speaking.How was Clara killed I needed details if I was going to help Ken Gattenger.A blow to the back of the head Probably from striking that side table She fell there, where the blood is on the hearth rug, the inspector told me.Pushed in a struggle with a burglar over the plans I certainly hoped so The other answer, pushed by Gattenger, would break Phyllidas heart.The duke finally gave one sharp nod Well have to investigate this until proven wrong.We The duke had described himself and me as we I prayed the investigation would take a very long time The stuff of my dreams only happened in the light of day when I was conducting an Archivist Society investigation Under no other circumstances would a duke spend time with a bookshop owner.Scotland Yard is proceeding from the assumption Kenneth Gattenger killed his wife If you find proof of his innocence, we need to know The inspector glared as he looked from Blackford to me.I nodded as I walked over to look out the open windows Paving stones made paths through the small dry patch of grass Anyone could have walked through the back garden without leaving tracks Did the Gattengers entertain last night No They ate alone The dining room is the front room on this floor Immediately after, they came in here.I turned and faced into the room It was small and cozy I could picture the Gattengers sitting in their matching chairs, reading in front of the fire I imagined this was a room no outsider was ever invited into Did they frequently lock the study door from the inside The inspector shook his head The maids said theyd never known that to happen before.The duke asked, Have you searched the house for the ship plans Of course Theyre not here, and the Admiralty records office swears Gattenger took a set with him yesterday just after midday.Did he take a set home with him frequently If he did, my thoughts of treason in the Admiralty disintegrated like the ashes in the fireplace.No The inspector strode to the door and held it open as he tapped his foot, letting his impatience show He had work to do I understood I did, too.From where I stood, I could see a foot or of space between the back of the door and a bookcase Could someone have hidden there when the Gattengers came in Beyond the inspector, I saw a young woman in a black maids dress with white cuffs and collar Dressed in her good uniform, she was ready to answer the door if there were any afternoon callers I couldnt imagine anyone but the ghoulish calling here.I brushed past the inspector and stopped in front of the woman When I looked at her closely, I discovered she wasnt a woman but a girl younger than Emma Im Georgia Fenchurch, a relative of Mrs Gattengers cousin Better not to get too specific with the kinship Whats your name Elsie, miss.May I ask you some questions, Elsie Do you think Mr Gattenger killed his wife she asked, twisting her apron.No.Good She gave one jerky nod with her head What do you want to know Tell me about yesterday.All day Yes Behind me, I heard two male sighs.The day was the same as any other I brought up the breakfast tray Then Mary helped Mrs Gattenger dress Mr Gattenger did for himself, being brought up that way.Did Mr Gattenger leave after breakfast and stay away for the whole day She nodded Just as usual.And Mrs Gattenger She went out calling in the afternoon with Lady Bennett, then came home and dressed for dinner.Did she always dress for dinner, even when it was just the two of them Yes She was raised that way, her being the daughter of a lord.Was she good friends with Lady Bennett Did they make calls together often No The lady had never called here before The missus looked surprised to see her, but she went off in the carriage with Lady Bennett after they spoke in the front hall for a few moments.What had made Lady Bennett call on Clara that particular afternoon Did you hear what they said No The missus looked furious at first, but then she put on a false smile when she spoke to me.What did she say She said, Lady Bennett and I are going out I dont expect this to take long.Where had they gone It didnt sound like Clara had wanted to go Did she return before the master came home Yes, she was only gone an hour or two.How did she look Ready to do murder.I glanced up to catch the eye of Blackford, who now stood behind the maid He gave one slight nod, his face a ducal mask Elsie, where did the Gattengers first meet at the end of the day In the study Hed wait in there until the mistress came down dressed for dinner Last night, she was in there waiting for him He went in and shut the door I was busy in the dining room and didnt hear anything.Would you have heard if there was shouting Yes, and there wasnt There never was, well, not until after dinner last night.What happened next What had changed their routine so dramatically We served dinner.No shouting They hardly said a word to each other.Was that usual No They usually talked about their day, people they saw, things they read Last night, they were both upset and quiet.Youre sure about that Inspector Grantham said from behind me.The maid nodded.How were their appetites I asked.Neither one ate hardly a bite Cook was furious, but Mary and I looked at the leftovers and danced around the kitchen We get the leftovers Well, some of them.They dont feed you very well Elsie was thin and pale I wondered how shed look if she were fed like a lady.The girl shrugged Bettern some.But they sat through all the courses There were only four when they were alone Soup, fish, roast, and pudding Master would have done without the soup and the fish, said they didnt eat enough to make it worthwhile, but the mistress insisted on it Sometimes they had fowl, too, but not last night The mistress didnt touch her pudding, and the master only had one spoonful Then she said, Lets get this over with, and he put his spoon down and they went into the study.And locked the door I was getting a picture of what had been an unusual night, even if no one had died.Yes, that was strange They never locked the door I couldnt bring the coffee in, for one thing.They always had their coffee in the study after dinner She nodded Always.With them not talking, and not eating, how long was dinner The maid grinned Fastest ever Mary and I were kept running.How long was it after they locked the door before you heard shouting The shouting mustve come first I never heard the key in the lock for them yelling.That was different from what Inspector Grantham had told us Then how did you know the door was locked I brought up the coffee, like I was supposed to, and when I tried the handle, I couldnt get in.What did you do with the coffee Put it in the dining room I thought theyd stop after a minute and let me in Theyd never behaved like this before.How long did the shouting continue Long enough for Mary to clear away the pudding dishes and come back up I couldnt decide whether to knock on the door or not when there was a big crash There was noise, a shriek, and a second crash Then it was quiet We both banged on the door and called in The maids eyes widened as she recalled the drama.And then It was silent in there for the longest time Then we heard sobbing and a moment later the master opened the door He was crying Her eyes and mouth were round with amazement.How long was the silence A minute An hour A minute, at least.And you didnt go for another key I studied her face carefully.Her shoulders slumped I tried looking in The key was still in the lock on the inside.What did Mr Gattenger say when he came out Get a doctor and the police I cant wake Clara.If Phyllida was right, Ken Gattenger must have been devastated What happened then I ran for Dr Harrison, two blocks away Mary ran for the bobby Mary got back before me.The inspector has mentioned a burned fragment of paper in this room when the police arrived Do you know anything about that She shook her head The master or mistress probably burned it in the fireplace.Why did you have a fire last night Id seen the ashes, but I was so used to seeing ashes in fireplaces they hadnt made an impression With the current heat wave, living in London was like living on the sun Why would anyone need a fire The mistress asked for it as soon as she returned from her carriage ride with Lady Bennett I thought it strange, but I laid it and lit it while she dressed for dinner.Did she give you any reason It was an odd request.I didnt get a chance to say anything She just ordered me to do it right then She looked like she might cry, so I just went ahead and did what she asked.Did Lady Bennett come in the house with your mistress No, the mistress returned alone.I was as suspicious of Lady Bennett as I was of the unknown burglar What happened once you lit the fire I got back to my regular duties I helped Cook while Mary dressed the mistress and did her hair.I patted the girls arm Thank you, Elsie.She pressed her lips together and then said, Excuse me, maam, but whats going to happen to us The masters in prison and the mistress is dead Will we be chucked out without our pay or a reference I looked at the duke, who shook his head I kept staring I wouldnt allow him to leave a scrawny young girl like Elsie to starve Finally, he pulled a calling card out of his card case and said, When the inspector is finished with you and the house is closed up, go to this address and see the housekeeper Shell see about finding you and the others a place to stay and employment, at least until we know the fate of your master.The maid dropped a curtsy and said, Thank you, sir Ill tell the others.She hurried downstairs as Grantham stepped toward Blackford Why are you being so considerate of the help Well know where they are Did you learn anything new, Inspector Yes And none of it looks good for Gattenger He frowned Although the business with the fire seems odd in this heat Are you two finished here For the moment, the duke said You did well, Miss Fenchurch.Questioning people is what I do Nevertheless, as I walked toward the front door, I couldnt hide the lightness in my step caused by his praise.Once we were back in Blackfords carriage, he asked, What do you know of Lady Bennett Nothing.The edges of his mouth curved upward Shes the widow of an impoverished lord, yet she lives in great style Shes rud to be the paramour of a German diplomat, Baron von Steubfeld.A kept woman I asked, raising an eyebrow.Or a spy There was no hint of a smile on his face now The barons accredited as a diplomat, but in reality hes the kaisers spymaster in Britain.Whatever Lady Bennett is, she caused discord in the Gattenger home What did Clara burn, or what was she planning to burn, in that fire And what do I tell Phyllida He looked out the window of the carriage and watched the traffic for a moment To come to the Archivist Society meeting tonight.Could you arrange something for me, Your Grace What is it Id like to go to Newgate Prison and speak to Ken Gattenger.Difficult, but not impossible Youll find the prison unpleasant.I need to speak to him Its important if were to understand what happened.He studied me for a moment Id forgotten how determinedly you approach whatever needs to be done It does you credit Ill arrange for you to speak with Gattenger And Ill accompany you.He was the most helpful aristocrat Id ever met Only one of the reasons I appreciated the duke. PHYLLIDA AGREED TO come to the meeting with us, but she seemed hesitant She took much longer over her toilette than Id seen before She seemed unable to decide what to wear and told Emma to redo her hairstyle twice She backed away from the hired carriage before we finally talked her into the vehicle.But once she entered Sir Brodericks home, her attitude changed Her chin lifted, and she led us in a stately procession up the stairs to the study.Lady Monthalf, Sir Broderick said, wheeling himself away from the fire to come forward and kiss the glove on the back of her outstretched hand Im so glad to finally meet you Georgia speaks very highly of you.Thank you for inviting me, Sir Broderick She favored him with a sweet smile.The pleasure is mine Please, sit anywhere Youll find were very informal in our customs within the Archivist Society It comes from needing to trust each other as much as family.I winced as the smile slipped from Phyllidas lips More than family, she said, taking a half step back.In many cases, yes Let me present everyone to you Sir Broderick gestured to each member who was present at this meeting as he introduced them to Lady Monthalf.Jacob, Sir Brodericks assistant, gave her a deep bow An East End urchin when he first asked for help from the Archivist Society, he was still deferential to anyone with a title Frances Atterby, the widow of a hotel owner, greeted her with the genuine warmth she had shown thousands Adam Fogartys bow was stiff, a telltale sign that the injury that had ended his career in the police ached Then we all stood around, waiting uncomfortably for someone to say something.Sit down Im tired of twisting my neck, Sir Broderick growled as he wheeled his way back to his customary spot in front of the fire I didnt know how he could abide sitting so close to the heat The evening was warm, the fire was hot, and sweat poured down my back.As I took my seat on the sofa next to Phyllida, the Duke of Blackford entered the room Good evening, he said as we all rose and bowed or curtsied He in turn gave Sir Broderick and Phyllida each a bow Has Miss Fenchurch brought you up to speed on this investigation Not yet Weve just arrived, I said Why dont you tell them We all settled in for a long meeting.The duke nodded, sat in a wing chair facing Sir Broderick, and leaned back Kenneth Gattenger is a naval architect whos designed the newest type of warship, one that will ensure Britains dominance on the high seas for years to come Hes also a newlywed, married only a year Last night, his wife was murdered while the two of them were alone in a locked room There was no sign of a break in A set of plans to Gattengers new battleship design disappeared from the room at the time of the murder, a room where a fire burned on the hearth.You make it sound like he murdered my cousin, Phyllida said in a quiet voice She sat completely still, looking totally composed.Those are the facts, and based on those facts, Gattenger has been arrested for his wifes murder Scotland Yard is certain hes guilty The duke stared at her as if daring her to disagree.They are wrong.How do you know Ive seen Kenny and Clara together They fitted each other like a hand in a glove Phyllida spoke with aristocratic certainty as she waved her hand.The duke looked around the room I was called in as soon as Scotland Yard informed Whitehall and the Admiralty There is another possibility, which our government both fears and refuses to acknowledge A possibility I want the Archivist Society to investigate.He gave his words a moment to sink in, and then continued There is a chance that a burglar entered the room, killed Clara Gattenger, and removed the drawings Our hot, dry weather meant their windows were open and the ground around the windows was hard There are paving stones stretching across the back garden to the gate in the fence leading to an alley A burglar could have conceivably entered and left without leaving a trace.The duke waited for a response When no one spoke, he said, We believe the intended recipient of the ship plans, the employer of the burglar, is the German master spy in Britain, Baron von Steubfeld Hes a member of the kaisers embassy staff here in London Von Steubfeld was already under watch by our Naval Intelligence Department Further, he knows it So far we dont believe hes received the drawings, but wed like eyes on him Eyes he doesnt know.We can help with that, Sir Broderick said.Good The drawings are on seven sheets of very large paper, about a yard in each direction, either rolled in a tube or folded into a package The last sheet was found partially burned by the fireplace and may not be with the others.Are we to believe von Steubfeld will be upset to receive less than the entire package Sir Broderick asked.Yes The last sheet is key if the Germans want to build a ship to these specifications The baron will not be pleased if he receives less than what he paid for The duke gave us a smile that made my blood chill.Why would the Germans want our designs They have their own naval architects I dont understand why theyd bother to steal our plans Despite the kaisers affection for our queen, I knew the German government didnt think highly of Britain.The duke gave me a disapproving look If they know what our ships are capable of, they can build their ships and create their battle plans to defeat us.Battle plans I bristled at his disparagement What a ridiculous point of view Our navy was the greatest the world had ever seen Why would the Germans want to fight us Theyd lose.He leaned toward me, a determined glow in his eyes They will fight us And theyll do anything they can to ensure theyll win Thats why theyre speeding up their shipbuilding schedule Thats why they have spies in our country Were in a naval arms race with the Germans, whether or not we like it, and we need to protect our superiority.I didnt like to be lectured to I pressed my lips together in irritation even as fear slid down my skin, mixed with my sweat in the overheated room I liked what he told us even less, especially since Blackford was uncanny in his ability to see complications before anyone else was aware there was a problem In a tone barely above a whisper, I asked, Are you certain He sprawled back in his chair, the glow gone from his eyes In a quiet voice, he said, I dont like it, either.Sir Broderick broke in I know you came here for than to lecture us on European conflicts.I did The duke looked around the room The baron goes out in society a great deal with Lady Bennett She could be used to pass on the drawings.The dukes gaze fell on me We need to dog their heels night and day if were to recover those drawings The plan Ive devised is tricky I want to place a member of the Archivist Society in a position to mingle with him in aristocratic society A position that no one will associate with counterespionage.Sir Broderick pressed the tips of his fingers together and looked over them at Blackford When you came by this afternoon, you told me you had something in mind.I want to set up Georgia Fenchurch as a cousin of Lady Monthalf, recently arrived from some part of the empire I want the two of them residing in a household in fashionable London I want them to go to the opera, to the theater, to balls and parties And I want them to befriend Lady Bennett.Visions of waltzing and attending the opera warred in my brain with thoughts of my bookshop in ruin What about Fenchurchs Books I cant just leave it shuttered for weeks.Oh, Georgia, dont sound so middle class, Blackford said in an annoyed tone Our nations security is at stake.I couldnt leave my bookshop for that long Both my business and my reputation would be destroyed I am middle class My shop is my life Ill attend social events with you, but my days will be spent as they always are In my bookshop.Praise for the Victorian Bookshop Mystery SeriesAn engaging heroine New York TimesBestselling Author Emily BrightwellEngrossing Publishers WeeklyDelightful adventure in Victorian England.National Bestselling Author Victoria Thompson The Counterfeit Lady A Victorian Bookshop Mystery This item The by Kate Parker Paperback Only left in stock on the way Ships from and sold Counterfeit James River Trilogy, Jude Deveraux turbulent unexpected romance with hero having plenty of absurdly stupid moments a manipulative wretch trying to ruin everything for Nicole Clay book is full emotions takes place lovely setting Book second s delightful series, which Georgia Fenchurch, solidly middle class proprietress Fenchurch Books, once again becomes involved murder mayhem through her somewhat prickly friendship dashing Duke Blackford participation Archivist Society, secretive investigation agency Author Lady When England national security compromised, must pose as titled lady root out spy cousin dear friend, Phyllida Monthalf, brutally murdered home during theft blueprints new battleship designed husband who now stands accused treason Get at Store compare products latest customer reviews ratings Download or ship free Free returns Series Englandrsquo spyhellip Georgia, Monthalf Emma return this Mystery, do members Society Simply Romance alinakfield readers rollercoaster ride adventure, action intrigue Lovers Regency novels will love Ms Field skillful weaving two genres Wonderfully drawn characters abound, many lively minor stiffly handsome honorable Fox, always fighting his feelings, Books Google Play From author Vanishing Thief comes an all mystery featuring antiquarian bookseller doubles private investigator secret enters bookstore, knows need services Deadly Wedding Volume continues adventures Olivia Denis, begun Scandal Set London late s, series combines touch cloak dagger adventure Camilla Bowles Angelina Jolie plot against As spends time London, Hollywood actress has teamed up Camilla, Duchess Cornwall, rattle Meghan Markle Middleton Search Results Portland Business Journal Search Journal Retire sooner travel , less 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Married married woman tied knot hurricane expert, Michael Lowry After dating months, couple got engaged year, their engagement announced colleagues Al Roker show, America Morning Headquarter Later, Cozy List writes sleuth whose main focus antique books member Milliner kate parker Growing readers, while classmates Dick Jane To day, can t see routine event without cloaking it mystery, complete dead body Author Goodreads don know hope write story attempts find missing man recently returned Egypt kate ktparkerphoto Twitter Tweets Photographer l bestseller strongisthenewpretty Speaker Feminist pretty much just whatever Oprah tells Liz T katetparker Instagram photos videos k Followers Following Posts See Whitepages View phone numbers, addresses, public records, background check reports possible arrest records Whitepages people search most trusted directory Top profiles Greater Boston Area LinkedIn professionals LinkedIn There are Parker, use exchange information, ideas, Obituary Clinton, Massachusetts Legacy passed away January Funeral Home Services Philbin Comeau obituary featured Worcester Wagon Train Story TV Episode IMDb considerable sum money had been planning leave so he money, wagon, leaving Finleys stranded alone branch knocks Jonas allowing escape but falters cold snow leaves weatherkait Followers, Following, SBCC Board Trustees Vote Santa Barbara City College Trustee fall With twelve years experience SB Unified School forty South Coast resident, deep understanding role our community The Counterfeit Lady

 

    • The Counterfeit Lady
    • 1.3
    • 53
    • Format Kindle
    • 322 pages
    • Kate Parker
    • Anglais
    • 15 October 2016

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