The Ambitious Stepmother

by Fidelis Morgan

An entertaining historical whodunnit following the adventures of Countess Ashby de la Zouche and her maid Alpiew. This is the third tale about the pair and it's an amusing and readable murder mystery, without the angst of so many other crime novels.


Gripping on to an iron spar, the countess hauled herself up into the darkness. Ahead of her Pigalle was crawling along a tunnel radiating from the main chimney at a steep angle. Taking a deep breath and murmuring a quick prayer, the countess followed. After a brisk crawl the light ahead grew stronger as Pigalle cleared the tunnel and dropped from view. The countess shuffled along after her and peeked meekly down into the candle-lit room. She crossed herself again, took a deep breath and jumped. She landed in a sooty bundle at a gentleman's feet. She staggered to her feet, brushing herself down and wishing she was not wearing such a provocative night-dress. She pushed a stray hair out of her eye, only to realise that her wig was somewhere back in the chimney.


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