A year ago, I was standing under the portico of St. Paul’s in Covent Garden with my mother, watching the rain pour down and waiting for a cab. We had just been to the opera, where I felt rather sad at not having a male escort, except for my brother Freddy. I also find few things more dreary than the opera. We only attended in hopes of gaining an introduction to a young man of quality. Sadly, my prospects for doing so were dim. My family’s income barely covered shopping trips to Whiteley’s. However, I hoped my looks would attract an eligible bachelor. I’ve been told I’m quite pretty; both Freddy and I inherited our mother’s blonde hair and blue eyes. Still, nothing came of that opera visit and I almost lost heart. Then, within months, my life took a delightful turn for the better.
My family and I were invited to a tea where we met the charming Eliza Doolittle. She claims we’d met during that same rainy night we attended the opera. It appears she was a flower girl who pestered us to buy her violets. My brother and I have no memory of that. We’re not in the habit of paying attention to street vendors. And I’m not certain I believe her. Eliza does love a good joke. Freddy is head over heels in love with her, and I adore her too. Eliza’s a real corker – as we all say in the new ‘small talk.’ She’s been a great friend, even if I don’t see her as often as I like. She’s busy giving language lessons alongside the demanding Professor Higgins. They also persist in having adventures with all sorts of low life. Murderers included.
Best of all, I am newly engaged. My brother is so jealous. He’s been asking Eliza to marry him for months. She believes she’s too young to settle down. But she’s twenty years old! I’m eighteen and grateful beyond measure that I will soon be a bride. If Eliza waits too long, she’s likely to find herself a spinster. I simply can’t imagine anything worse, unless it’s being one of those dreadful suffragettes. And I must give credit for my engagement to an old schoolmate, Lady Saxton. The moment she introduced me to young, handsome Lord Richard, I knew he was the love of my life.
Richard has been splendid: showering me with jewelry, purchasing my wedding trousseau at Maison Lucile, and driving me about in his Stutz Bearcat automobile. Unfortunately, Richard’s family have given me a most chilly reception. But I don’t care. Richard is the heir to the Ashmore fortune, title and estate. If his mother and sisters don’t like it, they can blooming well shove it, as Eliza would say.
Meanwhile I have a big, fancy wedding to plan. I’m the luckiest girl alive, yet I feel out of sorts. Eliza says it’s bridal jitters. And who could blame me? Especially with the recent shocking – and deadly – events that took place at weddings she and Professor Higgins have attended. I cannot think of such awful things right now. Richard said to me only last night, “Many are the stars I see, but in my eye no star like thee.” Isn’t that sweet? He’s such a poet! The most romantic man I’ve ever known. I do hope no one tries to murder him on the day of our wedding.
Get Me To The Grave On Time is the third book in the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series, published by Grainger Press in November 2016.
Although Eliza still refuses to marry Freddy Eynsford Hill, everyone around her seems headed for the altar. Not only is her cousin Inspector Jack Shaw about to wed his sweetheart, but Freddy’s younger sister Clara is engaged, along with the niece of Henry Higgins. Another blushing bride is the Duchess of Carbrey, who plans to marry a handsome fellow half her age. But when the groom is found dead, a jealous mistress is blamed for the murder. However, the death may also be connected to the stolen treasure of an Indian temple.
Disaster strikes next at Jack and Sybil’s wedding. Soon after, the wedding reception of Higgins’s niece takes a lethal turn. Someone is targeting bridegrooms, and the wedding of Freddy’s sister is next. Before another bridal bouquet is tossed, Higgins and Eliza must track down the killer. Otherwise, Clara’s bridegroom – and perhaps the bride herself – may be murdered before they can get to the church on time.
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About the author
D.E. Ireland is a team of long time friends and award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. In 2013 they decided to collaborate on a unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, which also inspired the musical My Fair Lady. At work on Book Four of their Agatha nominated series, they also pursue separate writing careers. Currently both of them write cozy mysteries for Kensington under their respective new pen names: Sharon Farrow and Meg Macy.
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Get Me To The Grave On Time. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 13, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!