It is 1908. Gerard de Montclaire and his associate, Sir Francis FitzMaurice, are summoned to a house on Windermere, in the English Lake District, and there to pass the Christmas Season with the family Darnell. But the reason for the invitation has little to do with celebration. The family’s lands are threatened in a lawsuit, and unless their ancient Charter is found, they will be ruined. There is little beside ancient hearsay to guide Montclaire’s step and there is murder in the offing, because someone is willing to kill to prevent his success. History and the power of imagination are once more Montclaire’s handiest tools, as he fathoms the meaning of a harpsichord that plays in the night, an ancient Christmas carol in a strange dialect, and the troubled religious history of a family whose future hangs desperately on finding The Dandridge Charter.
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I am a Farmer, History Professor and former CIA Intelligence Officer. When I’m not out chasing staying cows who have no respect for fences, or tracking-down undergraduates who have no respect for assignment deadlines, I am at my desk, penning the next Montclaire Mystery. There, accompanied by my Chief Beta Reader, Scruffy (cat) and Editorial Assistant, Willie Boy (beagle), I write Edwardian Mysteries that are every bit as good as those that captured my attention as a 10 year old and have held it ever since. The Montclaire Mysteries are tales of intrigue, revenge, jealousy, espionage, political corruption, and international conspiracy – just the ingredients that make for a deliciously evil soup. I get my greatest thrill when new readers taste the genius of Gérard de Montclaire, the most formidable detective of the Belle Époque, as he navigates problems that would make the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Arsène Lupin, and Hercule Poirot shudder with dread and cringe with self-doubt.