Can you post a synopsis? It's hard to get a feel for a book from the first few pages.
I know what you mean, Robinne.
I'm reluctant to post a synopsis at the moment as I'm still ironing out the kinks. However the basic premise is that Lady Chlamydia will lose her share of the family fortune if she doesn't snare a husband in time. Unfortunately, her brother (think of a Dick Dastardly type) will stop at nothing to see her fail.
If you enjoy reading tales like Around the World in 80 Days and The Hound of the Baskervilles, but laced with tongue in cheek humour, you'll probably persevere with my story.
Hopefully, the extra couple of extracts I've posted below will give you a better feel for it.
She’d been standing beneath a gas lamp for just a minute or two when a figure of a man emerged from the smog. At first glance he seemed a respectable type and as he drew closer she was able to get a better look at him. Dressed in a well tailored suit, complete with a top hat, he was definitely presentable enough and, If he turned out to be a foreigner, he might prove to be a suitable candidate.
‘You are here on business,’ he said, raising his hat.
‘Yes, that would describe why I’m standing here at such an unsociable hour.’
His lips curled into a smile. ‘My name is Ludwig Schloski.’
‘Yes. And you are?’
‘No I’m not Polish.’
‘I meant to ask you what your name is.’
‘Lillie Langtry,’ she replied, feeling that a pseudonym would serve her best if he didn’t want to go along with her little scheme.
He glanced around. ‘The streets here are dangerous. Would you like me to escort you home?’
Not unless you’re willing to walk behind the cab.
‘That won’t be necessary. I thought we might just talk for a while.’
His brows arched with surprise as if he should have been the one saying that last line. ‘What would you like to talk about?’
‘Oh, I don’t know. Maybe we could talk about the joys of marriage. Ever been married?’
‘Yes, three times. My first two wives died from eating poison mushrooms.’
She made a mental note to tell Cook to take mushrooms off the menu. ‘So you are still married.’
‘No, sadly my third wife passed away after sustaining a brain haemorrhage.’
Although she wasn’t normally sympathetic, she actually felt for him. ‘Oh my gosh! A brain haemorrhage. How did that happen?’
‘She wouldn’t eat the mushrooms.’ Then he chuckled, although his humour was lost on her and she instinctively gripped the club behind her back a little tighter.
‘Are you hungry?’ he said opening up the little black bag he was carrying.
She hoped it was where he kept his sandwiches. Unfortunately, the item he withdrew from the bag didn’t look anything like one.
If her expression could have killed he’d be dead on the pavement by now. But, sadly, no amount of disapproving looks from her would be sufficient to fend him off let alone lay him low. ‘That’s a lovely knife. Was it made in Sheffield?’
He paused for a moment, stood directly beneath the lamp and tilted the blade towards the light to read the words etched on the blade. ‘It says Messrs....’ His words were cut off by a well aimed blow to the back of his head. A moment later he pitched forward and lay stretched out on the ground.
Lady Chlamydia quickly looked around to see whether she’d been observed. As luck would have it, no one else was about and she decided that this particular plan was just as ill conceived as the one with the love potion. She needed to return home, take a long hot bath and rethink her entire strategy.
She didn’t have too much trouble finding James in the fog. He’d dozed off and was snoring louder than a fog horn. A well placed dig in the ribs with the end of the golf club soon wrestled him out of the arms of Morpheus.
‘That was quick,’ he said, stifling a yawn and leaping down to open the door.
Climbing aboard, she made herself comfortable.
‘There’s a bottle of brandy under the seat,’ he said.
Pouring a healthy measure into a glass, she settled down for the journey and uttered those immortal words, ‘Home, James.’
The Honourable Marjory Dimwitty sat on the sofa and sipped her tea as Lady Chlamydia paced the drawing room.
‘What am I to do? If I don’t find a husband soon I’ll be out on the streets.’
‘You could always get a dog.’
‘Get a dog?’
‘Well if it comes to the worst I might need to think about it. At least I’ll have some companionship as I wander the streets alone and a degree of protection from the great unwashed populace of London? It might even help me sniff out a few choice morsels from someone else’s rubbish bin to avoid dying of starvation.’
Marjory put down her teacup. ‘I was thinking that it might help you get your hands on your inheritance.’
‘Really, Marjory, you surprise me! Even if we could train it to walk upright, and wear a morning suit, I think someone might notice once we get inside the church. And do you take Chlamydia Thrush to be your lawful wedded wife? And the groom answers woof.’
‘What I meant was that you could get a dog and take it for a walk.’
‘And why would I want to do that?’
‘So you can meet an eligible bachelor.’
Chlamydia took a seat on the sofa. ‘Go on.’
‘It’s all the rage at the moment. I know of several couples who met whilst walking their dogs in Regent’s Park.’
‘So where would one acquire an animal for the purpose?’
‘Well I’ve heard tell that a rescue shelter for canines has just opened up in Battersea.’