A Sickness in the Soul (Virtual Tour & Giveaway)

A Sickness in the Soul: An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery

by William Savage

Genre: Historical Mystery

Book Blurb

“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”

 

Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.

 

This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.

 

Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.

 

Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?

Read an Excerpt

‘Most irregular!’ the coroner spluttered. ‘This is mere hearsay, doctor. I cannot admit it into evidence unless it is vouched for by the physician who you say was there at the time. Is that gentleman in the court?’

Silence.

‘Does anyone know where he may be found?’

The clerk to the court stepped forward — most reluctantly, Foxe thought. With much hesitation, he explained that, unfortunately, the man was not present at the inquest. Nor could his evidence be sought.

‘From what I have been told by those who encountered him that evening, sir, he was visiting from London. He said he intended to depart to return home on the first mail coach the following morning.’

‘God’s teeth!’ the coroner exploded. ‘Did anyone think to make a note of this man’s name or ask where he lived?’

Another silence.

‘Is Viscount Penngrove present?’

A tall man with a long, bony face stood up slowly. ‘I am here,’ he said. ‘I wish to God I were not.’

Whether this was an understandable comment about needing to attend an inquest on one of his sons, or an expression of disgust at being forced to sit, hugger-mugger, with tradesmen and other common people, was not entirely clear.

‘Is it true, your lordship,’ the coroner said, ‘as the medical examiner here has said, that this physician no one can name made a remark about the temperature of your son’s … body … and the extent of … um … stiffening?’

‘Something like that,’ Viscount Penngrove drawled.

‘Exactly as reported, my lord? Nothing else added and nothing omitted?’

‘Can’t recall. Rather upset by it all, as you might imagine.’

The coroner struggled bravely forward. ‘You did not ask for this physician’s name or his address?’

‘I am not in the habit of bothering myself with the personal details of tradespeople,’ came the viscount’s cold reply. ‘I passed what I could remember on to the fellow now on the stand. Up to him after that.’ He then sat down, making it clear he would entertain no further questioning.

Author William Savage is awarding a $50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card to one randomly chosen winner during the tour. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Contest!

Meet William Savage

I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.

All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and  knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

I have spent a good deal of my life travelling in Britain and overseas. Now I am more than content to write stories and run a blog devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at http://www.penandpension.com. You can also follow me on Twitter as @penandpension.

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries

All https://penandpension.com/my-writing#foxe

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries http://bit.ly/2Abn1Ks

The Fabric of Murder http://relinks.me/B00W3SDJW8

Dark Threads of Vengeance http://relinks.me/B01FPQ2Q1Y

This Parody of Death http://relinks.me/B06XDNY81B

Bad Blood Will Out http://relinks.me/B079RCVQ4X

Black as She’s Painted http://relinks.me/B07H1SZN37

A Sickness in the Soul https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WF3Y4VJ

Getbook.at/SoulSickness

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries

All https://penandpension.com/my-writing#bascom

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries http://bit.ly/2k43dSQ

An Unlamented Death http://relinks.me/B00RXGWIY0

The Code for Killing http://relinks.me/B01A2BY1LU

A Shortcut to Murder http://relinks.me/B01M1R78L3

A Tincture of Secrets and Lies http://relinks.me/B075LM2TZP

Death of a Good Samaritan https://relinks.me/B07NLCGK2Y

Blog: Pen and Pension: http://bit.ly/1Kb1Q4k

Amazon Author page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K

The Red Pearl (Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway)

The Red Pearl

by Chloe Helton

Genre: Historical Fiction

Blurb

“The Red Pearl is a delight. Meticulously researched, it transports the reader to the inns and backstreets of Boston in 1778. Lucy Finch’s personal tragedy spurs her on to take an active role in the revolutionary war, despite the immense danger it brings to herself, her family and friends. Ms. Helton’s characters are warm, living beings with gifts and flaws. Their relationships are altered — broken or strengthened — by the battles on distant fields and the evil of individuals closer to home.” – Carrie Bedford, Author of Nobilissima

There’s something peculiar about the small group of men who have begun to frequent The Red Pearl, the tavern that has hosted a variety of Boston’s men since before the Revolutionary War began. In a rebellious city that does not tolerate Loyalists, men could come here and speak freely without fear of the repercussions — and Jasper Finch, the tavern-keeper, has always been proud of that.

But now the war is in full force, and Lucy Finch — the tavern-keeper’s wife — is growing nervous about The Red Pearl’s most loyal customers. Their clandestine meetings and hushed whispers suggest dark secrets — secrets which may threaten the safety of Boston, and the future of the war itself.

Lucy struggles to stay loyal to her husband’s wishes while grappling with the surprising truths of America’s war for independence. When a terrible assault makes her ache for revenge, she must make a choice: Will she keep quiet about the explosive secrets she has learned, or will she expose them and risk her marriage and possibly her life?

Set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Revolutionary War, fans of historical fiction will fall in love with Lucy Finch, who faces impossible choices that may change the fate of a nation.

Read an Excerpt

“I came to tell you something to pass to your captain.”

“Such as?”

“Information. Men talk, especially when they’re drinking in the tavern, and I’ve heard things that might be of interest.”

“Tavern gossip is not our concern, Lucy. It was good to see you.”

My lips pursed. Jonathan had never been the most friendly of us, but this was rude. “No. I paid fifteen pennies and took a whole day to come here, which my husband would have my hide for if he knew of, by the way, and I won’t let you pass me off. As your sister, I deserve to be listened to, at least.”

He looked away, then sighed. “I regret my rudeness. You may speak.”

Tempted to clench my jaw – you may speak, how patronizing of him – I launched into the story immediately, my enthusiasm spiralling with every word, and when I finished I glanced at him proudly, anticipating his astonished and impressed smile.

His fingers twitched. “Thank you,” he said flatly. “I’m sure it will be taken care of.”

That didn’t sound right. “You’re not going to do anything about it?”

There were a few other soldiers on the other side of the empty pit, and they perked up for a moment at my urgent tone.

“We get dozens of tips like this,” my brother informed me quietly. “The colonists never have a problem foiling British shipments.”

“You don’t understand. They’ve gotten away with it so far; they said they’ve never had a ship that didn’t pass through.”

He considered this. “Okay.” It wasn’t a rejection, but it wasn’t a promise, either. It was less than he would have given Thea, who had married a good patriot, whose first love had not been so wild as to scare our father into marrying her to someone so absurdly sensible as my husband.

“I promise you, I am speaking truth,” I told him. “I wouldn’t bring this to you if I didn’t believe it.”

Chloe Helton will be awarding $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click here to enter!

 

Meet Chloe Helton

Chloe Helton is the author of four historical fiction novels, including And the Stars Wept and the Wattpad favorite A Thousand Eyes. Her readers have journeyed with her from the shores of Elizabethan England to the stormy battlefields of the Civil War in search of the often-hidden stories of women who made history.

Website: chloeheltonbooks.com

Amazon link for The Red Pearl

Goodreads Profile

https://www.facebook.com/chloeheltonbooks/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/chloe-helton

https://twitter.com/heltonbooks

Short Kindle Story Release – The FURLOUGH

I’m excited today to share the release of a Kindle short story.

Check it out on Amazon!

This is a story I’d been sitting on for a while, as I wasn’t completely sure what to do with it. I finally decided to give it the Kindle Direct Publishing treatment, both to get a little historical fiction of mine into the world, and also to learn how to navigate Amazon’s self-publishing process.

Enjoy!