Today we welcome Charlie Cochrane with
Lessons For Survivors
A more than professional interest . . . a more than personal intrigue.
Orlando Coppersmith should be happy. WWI is almost a year in the past, he’s back at St. Bride’s College in Cambridge, his lover and best friend Jonty Stewart is at his side again, and—to top it all—he’s about to be made Forster Professor of Applied Mathematics. And although he and Jonty have precious little time for an investigative commission, they can’t resist a suspected murder case that must be solved in a month so a clergyman can claim his rightful inheritance.
But the courses of scholarship, true love, and amateur detecting never did run smooth. Orlando’s inaugural lecture proves almost impossible to write. A plagiarism case he’s adjudicating on turns nasty with a threat of blackmail against him and Jonty. And the murder investigation turns up too many leads and too little hard evidence.
Orlando and Jonty may be facing their first failure as amateur detectives, and the ruin of their professional and private reputations. Brains, brawn, the pleasures of the double bed—they’ll need them all to lay their problems to rest.
Interview with Orlando and Jonty:
Charlie: Jonty and Orlando, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.
Jonty: It’s our pleasure, Charlie. Isn’t it, Orlando?
Orlando doesn’t look too sure.
Jonty: I’m afraid my colleague is a little uncertain about facing questions.
Charlie: I promise I won’t be unladylike. Maybe I should ask you a question first and then Orlando can see that we’re quite respectable. Jonty, which is your favourite case among the ones you’ve investigated together?
Jonty: I’m not sure I have a favourite. It’s been difficult at times to enjoy the sleuthing we’ve done as the cases always seem to run hand in hand with being in danger or some emotional upheaval.
Orlando: I liked the Woodville Ward case best of all.
Jonty: That’s because it was all codes ands ciphers and not having to talk to actual people. I suppose I’ll have to say the murder on Jersey was my favourite as the scenery and the weather was the best.
Charlie: If you chose to leave the world of academia what would you enjoy doing instead?
Orlando: I’d like to be a ship’s captain; in the navy, not the merchant marine.
Jonty (who can barely talk for laughing): Did you know he gets seasick? I hardly think that choice of career would work. I’d like to write novels, a sort of masculine version of Jane Austen. If there was any market for them.
Charlie: Have you ever considered travelling abroad - to the USA for instance? And if so, where would you like to visit and who would you most like to meet?
Orlando: We’ve been to France a couple of times. I liked it very much, even if the Venus de Milo clearly has the face of a man.
Jonty: You’ll excuse him; he has a bee in his bonnet about that statue. He also had a bit of an adventure down on the Riviera which I’m not allowed to mention. I’d love to travel to the United States, but the timescale involved is a bit daunting and it would eat up most of our summer. I hear that Massachusetts is very pretty – our Dr Panesar visited Boston and didn’t shut up about it for weeks.
Orlando: I want to meet this chap Einstein who’s doing all the work on photoelectric effects. I would also have liked to meet Nobel and ask why there isn’t a prize for mathematics!
Jonty: I’d like to drag Orlando off to meet Alessandro Moreschi but I fear he’d be scandalised.
Charlie: Can you tell us exactly why your father refused to use his title?
Orlando: Mr Stewart was officially the fifth Earl of Achiltibuie and, while he’d laid claim to the title, he said he wouldn’t stoop so low as to use it.
Jonty: Actually, to be exact, he said he wouldn’t stoop so low as to sit in the House of Lords. Why he wouldn’t use his title is steeped in mystery. He’s supposed to have had a ‘light on the road to Damascus’ type thing happen just before he inherited. A sort of vision of the equality of all people, so he wouldn’t use the title until Mama got the vote. I suspect it was actually less to do with that and more to do with his dislike for the Marquis of Queenbury and his sons. Didn’t approve of their morals and didn’t want to associate with their kind.
Charlie: I don’t think I blame him...
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About the author:
As Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excepting Lessons For Survivors). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 31. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.