July sees the publication of the last book in the Infamous Arrandales series, The Outcast's Redemption.
Those who have followed the series will know that the Arrandales have always courted scandal, but the most infamous of them all is Wolfgang, who fled to France following the death of his wife and the disappearance of a valuable necklace (I think one of the saddest facts of life in the Regency period is that loss of property was considered a more serious matter than loss of life).
So, ten years later, Wolf Arrandale returns to England determined to prove his innocence. Here's the first lines of the book -
The village of Arrandale was bathed in frosty moonlight. Nothing stirred and most windows were shuttered or in darkness. Except the house standing within the shadow of the church. It was a stone building, square and sturdy, and lamps shone brightly in the two ground-floor windows that flanked the door. It was the home of Mr Titus Duncombe, the local parson, and the lights promised a welcome for any soul in need.
Just as they had always done, thought the man walking up the steps to the front door. Just as they had done ten years ago, when he had ridden through the village with the devil on his heels. Then he had not stopped. Now he was older, wiser and in need of help.
Mr Duncombe's daughter, Grace, is at first wary of the vagabond who arrives at her father's door, but she is soon caught up in Wolfgang's search for the truth.
I loved writing this series, and especially in bringing the final mystery to an end with Wolf and Grace's story. And even as I was announcing the arrival of The Outcast's Redemption, the postman delivered copies of the Italian version of the second book in the series. In English the title is Temptation of a Governess, the Italian, as you can see from the cover, always sounds so much more romantic and mysterious!
Sarah Mallory /Melinda Hammond