While finishing up my last series, I was struck with an idea for a new one. This one involves Victorian personal ads – you know – man seeks woman, woman seeks man. They had those back then, but they were much more eloquently stated. The personal ads would run in a column popularly referred to as “the agonies.” You might have seen reference to these columns in the Sherlock Holmes books. The column was referred to in this way as often there would be paid advertisements which were really communications between people who really shouldn’t be communicating – like two married people – and thus full of angst and agony. Sometimes these were in code to discourage someone from “eavesdropping” on their clandestine conversations.
For my first book titled THE CASANOVA CODE, I’m introducing a group of ladies who know that an anonymous ad has been placed by a notorious rake who is looking for a quiet unassuming woman with the intent of marriage. They figure he’s looking for something that has nothing to do with marriage! So the four women make a pact to warn any possible respondees of the so-called gentlemen’s nefarious scheme. They call themselves the Rake Patrol.
THE CASANOVA CODE features Edwina Hargrove who is something of a code-breaker. She reads the coded messages in the personal ads for fun, but that talent, combined with the mission of the Rake Patrol gets her into trouble with a well-know rake, a secret society, and she’s introduced to a type of art not sanctioned for virtuous heroines. That book is scheduled for release in June 2012.
I’m currently working on book two of the Rake Patrol. I envision this one will match an outspoken firebrand of a temperence supporter with a Scotch whisky distiller. Shenanigans, passion, and some “boom” are in store…I hope.