Quick Overview :
In this Gothic novel told through the journals, notes, and intimate diaries of a cast of fascinating characters, we are taken into a bustling world of passion and intrigue.
While touring Europe, before starting an apprenticeship as a barrister, Gerald Marston, a young Englishman, is running out of cash. He accepts an offer from a London based detective agency to replace a detective who mysteriously vanished while reporting on the activities of the disreputable Lord Ingersoll, the sometime poet and close friend of the late Lord Byron, a man with a dangerous and scandal-ridden past.
Ingersoll is living in exile accompanied by Inez Cortina, his exotic mistress and former maid to his late wife, as well as Crankshaw, his valet and catamite. All three are under suspicion for having been responsible for the death of Lady Ingersoll, who drowned one stormy night while sailing their yacht in the Mediterranean.
Marston follows the trio to Genoa where Ingersoll pays a visit to his former mistress, Clarissa Shelton, and their lovely daughter, Diana. When the young Englishman begins to fall for the girl, he follows that party back to England, where Clarissa has persuaded Ingersoll to take her daughter, in hopes that she might find a proper husband there. Gerald meets secretly with Diana, who returns his love.
Ignoring the warnings of his employer, Gerald accepts an invitation from Diana to dine at Chillon, the ghost-haunted, legendary homestead of the Ingersolls, to meet her father. Little by little, the scandalous legend that surrounds Ingersoll is brought to light, and more mayhem continues to haunt the unfolding drama.
NORMAN BEIM, a veteran actor and author, appeared on Broadway in the original production of Inherit the Wind that starred Paul Muni, as well as Melvyn Douglas. On stage he has worked with such luminaries as Morgan Freeman, Jerry Stiller, Van Johnson, and Robert Ryan.
Endorsed, among others, by Horton Foote, Katherine Hepburn, and Mario Fratti, his plays have won a number of awards, been produced nationally and internationally, and have been used as textbooks at universities. Thirteen collections of his plays, plus three fact-based novels and a memoir are currently in print.