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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688176836, Hardcover)A boisterous, bawdy romp through Restoration England, Unnatural Fire introduces a pair of unlikely heroines and sets them on a merry chase through London just before the dawn of the 18th century. The Countess Ashby de la Zouche has lost her place in society with the death of Charles II, her former paramour, and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, a swindler who's gone to America to seek his fortune. Languishing in debtor's prison, she's soon rediscovered by her erstwhile maid Alpiew, whose circumstances aren't much better than her former employer's. But the two women swiftly discover how to turn their shared fondness for gossip into a tidy livelihood as stringers for an infamous scandal sheet. Hired by a wealthy matron to get the goods on her philandering husband, they stumble on a murder that sets this fast-paced, funny story in motion. The mystery mixes royal intrigue, theatrical shenanigans, cross-dressing strangers, and secret formulas into a delicious potion brewed by an actor and playwright who specializes in Restoration comedy. Author Fidelis Morgan's thorough familiarity with the period informs every paragraph of this delightful historical romp. --Jane Adams
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:58 -0400)
London 1699. Anastasia Ashby de la Zouche, Baroness Penge, Countess of Clapham, former mistress to Charles II, has fallen on hard times. Cast in into the notorious Fleet Prison by the bum-bailiffs, she is forced to turn to journalism: gathering salacious tit-bits for a scandal sheet. But the Countess and Alpiew, her maidservant, encounter more intrigue than they bargained for when a mysterious woman hires them to follow her husband Beau, whom she suspects of adultery. Their pursuit of Beau leads them to playhouses, lecture halls, the half-constructed St Paul's' Cathedral and the dives of Alsatia, only to end abruptly in a Covent Garden churchyard - leaving the Countess and Alpiew implicated in a murder. And worse if to follow, for to unravel their only clue to the identity of the real killer they must penetrate the mysteries of alchemy.
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