It began with a simple note: a letter of rejection delivered to Miss Temple on her maid's silver tray. But for Miss Temple, her fiance's cruel rejection will ignite a harrowing quest for truth, plunging her into a mystery as dizzying as a hall of mirrors. Thus begins Gordon Dahlquist's spectacular literary debut, a novel of Victorian suspense that shatters conventions and seethes with danger and eroticism.
Miss Temple's pursuit soon leads to a remote, forbidding estate where all inhibitions are laid bare and shocking discoveries lie behind its closed doors: men and women in provocative disguise, acts of licentiousness and violence, heroism and awakening. But she will also find two allies: Cardinal Chang, a brutal assassin with the heart of a poet, and a royal doctor named Svenson, at once fumbling and heroic; both of whom, like her, lost someone at Harschmort Manor. The search for answers hurtles this unlikely trio from elegant brothels and gaslit alleyways to astonishing moments of self-discovery and ever-mounting peril. For the conspiracy they face, a perverted alchemy of science, religion, and lust for power, is terrifying beyond belief.
©2006 Gordon Dahlquist. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.