Shannon here: Romantic mystery author, Donna F. Crow shares the romantic setting for her latest release, York, England. Comment on any post dated March 18 – 22 to get your name in the drawing for an e-book copy of A Tincture of Murder. Deadline: March 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
York, England, is a city of kings, priests and warriors; of dancers, artists and lovers— in other words, it’s one of the most romantic places on earth. York fits both definitions of romantic: as a perfect setting for love to bloom and as a place where stirring adventure has taken place. That means a city whose mystery goes back to Roman times with the disappearance of the “Lost Legion” when 5,000 men marched northward to disappear in the swirling mists of Caledonia, a city at whose heart is a glorious Minster cathedral filled with jeweled stained glass and angelic music, and a city whose Medieval walls (above) still offer a charming walkway (in this case, for writers on a day out). It is a city for all ages of time and all ages of visitors.
I took our Daughter Elizabeth to York Castle Museum when she was just 5 years old. Clutching her baby doll in her arms we strolled through the cobbled Victorian streets seeing how people lived long ago. It was great until Elizabeth burst into tears at the discovery that she had dropped her doll’s pink ruffled bonnet. She had barely time for one loud sniff, however, before a kindly guard returned it to her with a bow.
A few years later I was there at Christmastime with my husband. After an excellent afternoon tea we stolled out into the square to be met with a band of Morris Dancers jumping and cavorting, bells jangling and scarves waving. Later we went to Choral Evensong in the Minster, golden in the evening light.
It’s little wonder, then, that when Elizabeth married her Englishman they chose to honeymoon in York.
And so I chose Victorian York for the setting for Antonia and Charles’ latest adventures in A Tincture of Murder, book 4 in my Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series. True enough, Charles and Antonia attend a magnificent worship service in York Minster and enjoy many genteel moments of sipping tea. But their experience at York Castle is to attend the trial of “The Leed’s Poisoner” where legal issues are debated that still influence courts of law today. And they spend far more time working in the asylum for fallen women that Freddie, Charles’ clergyman brother, runs than watching Morris Dancers.
And yet, in all circumstances, romance flourishes. From debris-choked slums to elegant country homes; from prisons to churches, true love will triumph as we see in the final scene of A Tincture of Murder:
A smiling Victoria stood in the doorway, radiant in a pastel flounced gown with pink flowers in her blond curls.
Freddie all but ran to pull her forward into the room. With his arm around her tiny waist he opened his mouth to speak— but no words came out.
“It seems that my nephew is, for once, at a loss for words.” The Dowager Duchess’s words were crisp, but her smile looked exceedingly pleased. “As usual, it falls to me to do everything. I must tell you that my nephew has come to his senses.”
Tonia could only assume Freddie did the right thing and kissed his fiancé. For her part, she was much too thoroughly engaged in a similar activity with Frederick’s elder brother.
If you want the whole story, leave a comment below to win a free ebook of A Tincture of Murder. Readers who have followed Charles and Antonia through the ups and downs of their romance will be delighted to find Antonia basking in the joys of motherhood. Until fire destroys Danver’s ancestral home forcing him to reconsider his younger brother’s appeal that they travel to York to help discover why women are dying in the Asylum for Poor, Degraded Females the young cleric has opened in one of the worst slums of the city. Antonia and Charles find new strength in themselves and in their marriage as they work to feed the starving women and look after the destitute children who come to The Magdalen House for refuge. But what of the women who have died there under strange circumstances? Are these natural causes or is an insane poisoner at large in York? Perhaps even among Charles and Antonia’s own acquaintances?
About Donna: Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 43 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She is also the author of three mystery series. Her latest releases are An Unholy Communion, The Monastery Murders and A Tincture of Murder in the Lord Danvers Victorian true-crime novels. Coming soon is A Jane Austen Encounter in the romantic suspense Elizabeth & Richard series. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 12 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/
You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY
Come back March 25th for Linda Rondeau!