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  • Published: 20 December 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448113019
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

The Sailor's Ransom

A Bella Wallis Mystery




Bella Wallis -- 'woman of mystery' -- returns in a scintillating new episode from prizewinning author Brian Thompson

London, 1875. At Lady Cornford's famous soiree (sugared almonds and tittle-tattle) everyone is gossiping about Henry Ellis Margam's latest hit, The Widow's Secret. Only a few people know that one of Lady C's guests, the enigmatic Bella Wallis, is in fact the bestselling novelist. Bella punishes evil-doers by exposing them as thinly-disguised characters in the books she writes under her male pseudonym. Armed with her pen, the handsome Miss Wallis surrounds herself with useful men: the dashing Philip Westland, possibly a government spy; Captain Quigley, Bella's fixer, and his shady assistant, Murch, who can always crack a bone or two when someone needs persuading.

Westland comes to Bella with a problem: his best friend Kennett is smitten by the heiress Miss Mary Skillane. But Mary's father, Sir William is 'an old fraud with a beautiful daughter' and she has been promised to Robert Judd, a vulgar treasure seeker. Mary is due to inherit the Skillane pearls, currently residing in a red lacquer box in a Cornish bank vault. But the pearls it seems were ill-gotten, and as Bella and her band uncover more of the strange business, a new Henry Ellis Margam novel looks set to be written, if Bella can first side-step her own affairs of the heart, and evade a brutal threat to her life...

  • Published: 20 December 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448113019
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the author

Brian Thompson

Brian Thompson was born in London in 1935 and now lives in Oxford. He has written three volumes of memoir: Keeping Mum (2006), winner of the Costa Prize for Biography and the PEN/Ackerley Prize, Clever Girl (2007), longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and A Corner of Paradise (2013). He is also the author of the Bella Wallis mystery series, also published by Chatto.

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Praise for The Sailor's Ransom

With a glorious heroine and wicked humour, Brian Thompson lays bare the sexual shenanigans and hypocrisy of Victorian England

John Harvey

The atmosphere is delicious, tangible, and irresistible. The dialogue is believably Victorian. And Bella Wallis is a joy to follow around through a few hundred pages

The Historical Novels Review

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