London 1699. Anastasia Ashby de la Zouche, Baroness Penge, Countess of Clapham, former mistress to Charles II, is an aristocrat on her uppers. Cast into the Fleet Prison, she is forced to turn to journalism. But the Countess and her maidservant encounter more intrigue than they bargained for.
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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 AdamsAbout the Author:
Fidelis Morgan is an actor and an expert in Restoration comedy. Acclaimed for her stage plays, Pamela and Hangover Square, she also collaborated with Lynda la Plante on Channel 4's tense, psychological thriller Killer Net. She has written non-fiction studies of charismatic female figures from the 17th and 18th centuries, and contributed to the bestselling Virago anthology Wicked. In Unnatural Fire, she combines historical interest with her lifelong passion for crime fiction.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0006514529