Length: 73,000 words approx.
Publisher: Manifold Press
The Carstairs Affairs Series
Miles Siward and Briers Allerdale return for another thrilling Jazz Age adventure .
“Silk stockings on expenses.”
Miles’s aristocratic mother has information of importance to the British Government and he must escort her home from Bucharest immediately, but their plans go violently awry and Miles and Lady Siward find themselves on a train to Belgrade - where Miles’s lover is posted. Since their pursuers are looking for a man and a woman, might two women slip past them unnoticed?
"Is anyone on this train who they say they are?"
Briers doesn’t know whether to kiss Miles or punch him but is delighted to accompany him and his mother on their journey. All he has to do is keep an eye open for their enemies - but who exactly are they; the enormous Russian, the sinister priest, the handsome jazz pianist, or maybe the winsome young movie star? And his mother-in-law might just be the most terrifying of all!
All aboard for the ride of a lifetime, with a cast of characters you'll never forget!
Secret Intelligence service operative, Miles Siward, is preparing for a mission with the assistance of his gentleman’s gentleman, Pritchard.
"Do you miss working for Father?" Miles asked after a moment. "I feel bad that I've never asked before, but I was so grateful when you agreed to come back with me and run my little establishment that I suppose it never occurred to me to ask."
Pritchard paused, his hands full of snowy linen. "Lord bless you, sir, no. Ronald and I were heartily sick of exchanging letters by then, and maybe seeing each other once a year - your father's commitments allowing. To be offered the chance to come here, with private accommodation provided, was a Godsend. My only worry was that a relationship started in the trenches and continued on paper might not weather more frequent contact."
Ronald – professional stage manager, natty dresser, a full head taller than Pritchard – was perhaps a little shrill, but one had to be shrill to be heard in theatrical circles. From what little Miles had seen of Pritchard and Ron together, though, they seemed blissfully happy and he wished them well and envied them with all his heart.
"I'm glad," he said. "Going from valet to His Majesty's Ambassador in Bucharest to the man-of-all-work of a clerk seems such a come down."
"We both know that you are far more than a clerk, sir," Pritchard grinned. "And speaking of more, Bucharest is not that far from Belgrade. While you are there, will there be any chance of meeting with the master?"
Miles snorted. "You mustn't call Briers that, it only encourages him. He'll turn up in plus fours and a monocle next, you wait and see!"
"It's meant affectionately, sir." Pritchard gave him a serene smile and tucked a rolled black tie and a pair of silk socks in beside the shirt.
"I know, and he loves it." Miles paused in smiling contemplation of Briers Allerdale – tall where Miles was short, dark where he was fair, a hard-bitten field agent where Miles spent a lot of time at his desk − and thanked his lucky stars that opposites attract. "But sadly I am only going for one night, solely to retrieve Ma and bring her home safely in time for her appointment. A side trip is completely out of the question.
"I understand, sir." From the sympathetic glint in Pritchard's eye, Miles knew that he did understand, very well.
Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.
Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.
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