The Deathly Portent – ELIZABETH BAILEY

The Deathly Portent is the second book in the A Lady Fan Mystery Series written by Elizabeth Bailey

Her charm and cajolery may fool the unwary.
Unscrupulous and cunning, as dauntless as she is resolute, the incomparable “Lady Fan” is as ruthless as the killer she is tracking in…

A violent murder has left the village of Witherley aghast. The locals are convinced that a witch doing the devil’s work is to blame-a young woman believed to have second sight. The new vicar, Aidan, taking up the cudgels in her defence, fears the witch hunt is escalating out of his control. But help is at hand.

The bright and perceptive Ottilia, once a lady’s companion and now bride to Lord Francis Fanshawe, is drawn to Witherley by an insatiable curiosity. Ottilia rapidly uncovers a raft of suspects with grudges against the dead man, one of whom is determined to incriminate the “witch.” And as foul play runs rampant, Ottilia must wade through the growing hysteria to unravel the tangle and point a finger at the one true menace…

I have never read a book before that is written in the language that was appropriate to that period in time and I struggled with this to start with, but as I continued it started to flow and I understood what was being said. Very much like my experiences when I watch Shakespeare the theatre – takes me a while before I understand what is going on!!

Having not read the first book in the series I was concerned that I would not understand all the references and elements of the plot, but that really didn’t seem to be a problem at all. It is clear that Ottilia had solved a previous case as there were mentions of it before, but it really didn’t take away anything from reading this book.

This is a who-dun-it set in “yester-years!”, not totally sure what period in time but the words, locations and description of people and surroundings feel appropriate to the story. Flows well, and Ottilia is a young Miss Marples uncovering all sorts of hidden secrets in the fictious  village of Witherley.

Thank you Elizabeth for introducing me to a new style of writting that I have never tried before and also for sending me a copy of your new book.

The Deathly Portent will be released on 7th June 2012 by The Berkley Publishing Group.

I asked Elizabeth the following questions:-

1) In one sentence, how would you explain The Lady Fan Mysteries to someone who hadn’t read them?

A clever and highly observant Georgian lady, who has fallen into amateur sleuthing by chance, finds it so satisfying and entertaining to solve mysteries that she cannot resist becoming involved when murder crosses her path.

2) The Deathly Portent is the second in the series, how many more books will follow (and when)?
I hope to write at least ten! I’ve got the third on the drawing board which I expect will come out next year and I know how the fourth is going to start. After that it’s fairly vague at the moment, but there are ideas for developing the central relationship.

3) The style of writing is very fitting to the period (of which i have called yester-years!!), when are they set and how easy do you find to write in this style?
The period I’m using is the last decade of the 18th Century. It’s a period I know well from my historical romances and I like it because there is a lot of change through those years, with the echoes of the French Revolution across the channel which did much to adjust attitude, customs and fashion. I’ve got a sort of Georgian-speak switch in my head that I seem to be able to turn on, because I’ve done it for many years and I don’t find it difficult at all.

4) In my review i referred to Ottilia as a very young Miss Marple’s, would you say that is a true association or did her character come from someone else you had in mind?
I think it’s a pretty fair description! I didn’t think of her like that and originally I expected her to be the power behind the public face (which would have been Francis) but she insisted on taking centre stage from the off. You can’t argue with characters!

5) Aside from the books you have written, would you write in any other style for future books not connected to this series?
I’m actually writing something in a different voice at the moment, a spy thriller which I’m co-writing together with an ex-intelligence agent who supplies the stories and the detail. I think it keeps a writer fresh to write in different voices.

6) What was been your favourite read within the last 12 months?
I think I would have to say a biography, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. It brought her so vividly to life and sold her to me in such a sympathetic light that I was enchanted. Of course it was of interest because she’s of my period, but the author’s touch was magical.
You can folllow Liz on her website or via twitter @lizbwrites


Filed under Book review

3 responses to “The Deathly Portent – ELIZABETH BAILEY

  1. Sounds fabulous, I will look out for it. Good choice of cover.

  2. dotscribbles

    This sounds great, brilliant review.

  3. Pingback: The Deathly Portent – Elizabeth Bailey | The Bookworm Chronicles

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