Welcome to 27A Wimpole Street in central London. King Edward VII died three years ago, and they say we are now in a post-Edwardian age. All I know is that the year is 1913. My name is Eliza Doolittle, and I used to live in rather shabby digs along Angel Court off Drury Lane. That was when I was a Cockney flower seller, but now I’m a proper lady, I am. This past year, I’ve been transformed into a “duchess” by the brilliant and infuriating Professor Henry Higgins. Although I began by welcoming you to Wimpole Street, I must confess that at the moment I no longer reside there with Higgins and dear Colonel Pickering. After the Professor and I had a falling out the night of the Embassy Ball, I moved in with Professor Higgins’ mother, who has a loverly flat in Chelsea.
If you haven’t heard of Professor Higgins, (and he’d be insulted if you hadn’t), he’s a confirmed bachelor and famous phonetician who can tell right off where a person comes from just by listening to them speak a few words. Blooming amazing, he is. But don’t tell him I said that. Anyway at the moment he and my friend and mentor Colonel Pickering are in Spain, so I can say anything I like about the Professor.
While he’s been gone, I am proud to announce that I’ve become a teacher of phonetics myself. I now teach for his chief rival and former pupil, the Hungarian Maestro Emil Nepommuck. One of my students is Mary Finch, the pretty wife of a West Yorkshire businessman. Both she and Mr. Finch have come into money and want to learn how to speak like the swells. Unlike Higgins, I never lose my patience with my pupils. Unfortunately, Mrs. Finch seems more interested in my fashionable clothes and the Maestro’s flirtatious ways than in my lessons. Might be a bit of trouble because of that, seeing as how her husband is coming for lessons too.
I’d never admit this to the Professor, but I miss living at 27A Wimpole Street. There is far more activity there, and the housekeeper Mrs. Pearce is a wonder. Plus she bakes the most delightful currant scones. Life on the Chelsea Embankment is a tiny bit dull, but Mrs. Higgins is a dear. However once Higgins returns to London, I suspect things might get a bit dodgy.
You see, the Maestro has claimed in the newspapers that he was the one who taught me how to speak like a duchess. A right blighter he is, taking credit for the Professor’s work. And the Maestro won’t correct his lies no matter how much I nag at him. All I know is that when the Professor returns, he’ll fly into a foul temper. With his pride and professional reputation at stake, I’m afraid he’ll get angry enough to take his revenge on that peacock of a Hungarian. I only hope Colonel Pickering can talk him out of doing anything rash.
As for the Colonel, he is the soul of kindness. And I’m a bit embarrassed at how he continues to indulge me by purchasing the latest gowns, parasols, shoes, hats and gloves at Whiteleys or Selfridges on Oxford Street. Blimey, look at the time. My next pupil is due any moment. Ta for now. It’s time to earn a living again.
This is the third stop on the Wouldn’t It Be Deadly Debut Mystery Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, CLICK HERE.
You can read more about Eliza and Higgins in Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, the first book in the new St. Martin’s Minotaur mystery series.
About Wouldn’t It Be Deadly
Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect. However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 26 for the chance to win a copy of WOULDN’T IT BE DEADLY. The giveaway is open to everyone. Two lucky winners will be chosen at random.
About the authors
D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion, using the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy Eynsford Hill and his family, while adding a slew of new characters. They both live in Michigan, have patient husbands, brilliant daughters and share a love of good books, tea and history.