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In the quiet English village of Marmis Parva, a weekend house party is organised by a society hostess…but this is no ordinary soiree.
Renowned Contralto Giselle Du’Lac, society nerve specialist Mr Weatherly Draycott, and young socialite Lady Bunny Ellerbeck are amongst the guests who have been invited to make it the social event of the season, but the weekend ends in horror when two men are savagely murdered during the course of the evening and a young man, presumed dead, returns home after two years’ imprisonment in South Africa, bringing with him proof of treason.
Detective Chief Inspector Elliott Caine’s long-awaited holiday in the Lake District is cancelled as he is brought in to investigate the peculiar nature of the murders. More bodies are discovered and Elliott has to manoeuvre between high society, Government protocols and the sickening nature of the crimes if he and his old friend, Detective Sergeant Abernathy Thorne, are to catch this sadistic killer, and the traitor lurking amongst the honoured guests.
When Caine’s mysterious past comes back to haunt him, will his judgement be too clouded to focus on solving the crime?
Will the Boer spy’s identity be uncovered before they can flee?
How are these murders connected to another in New York?
A Portrait of Death: The Versipellis Mysteries, Book One, is the first in a series of paranormal Victorian murder mysteries, following the supernatural investigations of Elliott Caine, and his associate Abernathy Thorne.