VBT – A SICKNESS IN THE SOUL
Posted by authorcamilson
A Sickness in the Soul: An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery
by William Savage
GENRE: Historical Mystery
“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”
Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.
This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.
Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.
Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?
All might have continued on its stable course had not a day arrived when a stranger came to the house. Earlier that morning, Dr Danson informed Archibald Gunton, the butler, to his considerable surprise, that he was expecting a visitor. When he arrived, the butler was told, he must be admitted immediately and without question. He would await the man in his library.
The man came and spent barely twenty minutes with Dr Danson. No one saw or heard him leave. It was not until the butler entered the library about an hour later that he found the reason. His master lay slumped back in his chair, his mouth and eyes wide open. On his face, there was an expression that the butler later described to his mistress as being ‘as if he had looked into hell itself’. At his feet were his wig and a small dagger; the one which he usually kept on his desk. There was blood on the left side of his chest. It was obvious at once that the Reverend Dr Jonathon Danson, scholar of the occult and seeker after hidden knowledge, was dead.
As the news spread in the neighbourhood, two schools of opinion formed. The majority, considering Dr Danson’s circumstances, announced that it was plainly a domestic crime. An elderly rich husband takes a pretty, young wife, who was penniless before he married her. ‘Murder!’ they whispered amongst themselves. ‘Stands to reason, don’t it?’ A sizeable number reached a different conclusion; one based on rumours of the man’s strange interests. ‘Witchcraft!’ they muttered, or ‘devilry!’ Either way, that group were certain the powers of evil had come to claim one of their own.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.
All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.
The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.
The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.
I have spent a good deal of my life travelling in Britain and overseas. Now I am more than content to write stories and run a blog devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at http://www.penandpension.com. You can also follow me on Twitter as @penandpension.
The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries
The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries http://bit.ly/2Abn1Ks
The Fabric of Murder http://relinks.me/B00W3SDJW8
Dark Threads of Vengeance http://relinks.me/B01FPQ2Q1Y
This Parody of Death http://relinks.me/B06XDNY81B
Bad Blood Will Out http://relinks.me/B079RCVQ4X
Black as She’s Painted http://relinks.me/B07H1SZN37
A Sickness in the Soul https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WF3Y4VJ
The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries
The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries http://bit.ly/2k43dSQ
An Unlamented Death http://relinks.me/B00RXGWIY0
The Code for Killing http://relinks.me/B01A2BY1LU
A Shortcut to Murder http://relinks.me/B01M1R78L3
A Tincture of Secrets and Lies http://relinks.me/B075LM2TZP
Death of a Good Samaritan https://relinks.me/B07NLCGK2Y
Pen and Pension: http://bit.ly/1Kb1Q4k
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
WILLIAM SAVAGE: INTERVIEW
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Hard to say. Probably rum and raisin, or perhaps pistachio.
Which mythological creature are you most like?
This is hard. Most of them are unpleasant in one way or another. Perhaps the best I can do is say I’d most like to be a dragon. In Japanese mythology they’re symbols of good fortune. If I were a dragon, I’d also be able to fly and (better whisper here) incinerate anyone who annoyed me.
First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
I can’t say any book has done this. I read all the time and only occasionally go back and re-read something. I can think of books which have caused me to think more deeply about things, and others which have affected me emotionally. But none have done this in a way you might call indelible. I’m simply too ready to change my mind about things in the light of new ideas or evidence. Clinging to something, however dear it has been, gets in the way of finding something else new and exciting.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
With a good deal of mental labour, in the case of a plot. I come up with scores of ideas, then throw most of them away. In the end, what emerges is usually an amalgam of a whole lot of initial thoughts, greatly amended and expanded as the writing progresses.
Characters are much easier. I decide I need someone and the broad outlines of who they are and what they’re like. Then I head onwards and wait until the new character has to speak. Once they do, it’s as if I can hear them in my head. What they say and how they say it tells me just about everything I need to know about them, so I go back and fill in any blanks I left when they first came into the story. Readers often say I am niggardly with physical descriptions of characters. That’s true. I do it deliberately. When I read a story, the characters come alive in my mind and I know what they look like. It really bugs me when the author starts to describe them in detail, because the written description rarely fits how I imagine them. If an author does this too much, I either skip over all such passages of description or throw the book down in disgust! I’d hate for this to happen with my readers, so I almost make them imagine my characters’ appearance in whatever way they want. That’s going to make it more vivid and more satisfying than listening to something I’ve been forced to come up with because it’s expected of me.
Describe your writing space.
I don’t have one space. Sometimes I sit in an easy chair with my laptop on a tray. Sometimes I sit at my (very cluttered) desk and write on my desktop machine. Sometimes I get a sudden thought, or a sudden piece of dialogue which needs to be written down, and I grab my iPad and do it there. I keep everything on Dropbox, so I can access it from any of the computers I use. For long stretches of writing, I use specialist word-recognition software on yet another laptop and dictate instead of typing.
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Posted on October 31, 2019, in Book Tour, Guest Authors and tagged A SICKNESS IN THE SOUL, Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery, author interview, Goddess Fish Promotions, Historical Mystery, William Savage. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.