I am delighted to part of the blog tour of “Blackmail, Sex and Lies” by Kathryn McMaster. I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot. This book is available as a paperback or an eBook. *Today is the last day to grab this book at a reduced price *
The young Scottish socialite, Madeleine Hamilton Smith was swept off her feet by Pierre Emile L’Angelier. She thought him handsome, charming, attentive. However, things soon soured between the pair.
However, once he had seduced her, he became controlling, manipulative. While she tried desperately to withdraw from the toxic and abusive relationship he started blackmailing her; threatening to expose her indiscretions to her family and her new fiancé which would have ruined her within her strict, Victorian era society.
She felt trapped, desperate even. Suddenly, the threats were silenced by his unexpected death.
Did Madeleine Smith murder Pierre Emile L’Angelier or did he commit suicide?
For 160 years, people have believed Madeleine Smith to have been guilty of murder. But was she? Could she have been innocent after all?
This Victorian murder mystery, based on a true story, takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 1857.
Kathryn has used some of the 200 letter between socialite Madeleine Hamilton-Smith and Pierre Emile L’Angelier and created a fictionalised them for a riveting read. It documents the relationship between Madeleine and Emile in 1850’s Scotland. Madeleine is the naive daughter of strict architect James Hamilton. Pierre, or Emile as he is referred to, is from French parents and not in the same social league as Madeleine, but he is desperate to climb the social ladder. The two begin a secretive relationship that is doomed from the start.
This is the sort of book that I really love to read, historical, Victorian and including documentation to provide a wonderful basis for a very addictive read. A few of the letters have been included and provide a wonderful and personal insight into the lives of the two main protagonists. It captures and reflects their own actions as well as those around them. It shows a darker side to romance. A side where the ends justify the means as far as Emile is concerned. He does not want to be married to a penniless woman, he wants one that can support him. The more I read of Emile, the more I disliked him, but also I found myself wanting to shake some sense into Madeleine, she really was a soppy doe eyed naive girl, but at the same time I did feel sorry for her.
It has scandal, vulnerability and calculated manipulation that ultimately leads to a death, but was it murder, suicide or a cover up ? It is well written and engaged this reader from the outset. I always like the inclusion of the differences between social class and the living conditions of the period I am reading, this book did that. As well as having a great story line and a pace suitable for the style of book.
This is a book I would recommend to readers who like true crime, Victorian Historical Fiction, with references to Victorian Social and family Values. A really good read.
About the Author:
Kathryn McMaster is a writer, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and champion of good indie authors. She co-owns the book promotion company One Stop Fiction (www.onestopfiction.com), where readers can sign up to receive news of free and discounted 4 and 5 star reviewed books. She is also a bestselling author of historical murder mysteries set in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her debut novel, “Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?” was well received. All her novels are based on true stories, and she melds fact with fiction, writing in the creative nonfiction style. She lives on her 30 acre farm in the beautiful Casentino Valley, Italy for 6 months of the year, and during the other half of the year, on the small island of Gozo, Malta.
- Paperback: 198 pages
- Publisher: Drama Llama Press; 1st edition (14 Sept. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8894122859
- ISBN-13: 978-8894122855
- Purchase from – Amazon UK – Amazon US
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