I was born in Kingston-Upon-Hull, Yorkshire. After studying in Oxford for ten years, I took up a lectureship at the University of Leeds in 1976, and since 1999 I’ve been Professor of 18th Century English Literature (Emeritus 2018). Some of my books include Pope’s Imagination (1984), English Poetry of the Eighteenth Century (2004), and Organising Poetry: The Coleridge Circle (2009). Chocolate House Treason (2019) is my fictional début – not before time!
COVENT GARDEN, October 1708.
Setting up a Basset table at the Bay-Tree turns out to be one of Widow Trotter’s less successful ideas. Murder and scandal come uncomfortably close as she and her friends Tom and Will are drawn into the frenzied world of gaming and stock market speculation. Ruin hovers over the Pophams, and the chocolate house itself is in danger. The trio need all of their boldness and ingenuity to solve the murder mystery and uncover a cabal that threatens not only the Bay-Tree but the City of London itself. With the help of friends old and new they must counter-plot and mount their own conspiracy.
THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE, 24 April 1708.
A performance of Macbeth is under way when disaster strikes and the stage becomes a scene of elemental chaos – and for Widow Trotter and her friends at the Bay-Tree Chocolate House, a new adventure begins, involving murder, poison, fire, and a rogue elephant . . .
Devoted fans of Chocolate House Treason will welcome this second novel in the Chocolate House Mysteries series, which captures all the energies of the early eighteenth-century theatre. We move among the eccentric characters of the Theatre Royal company, in Drury Lane and at the exuberant May Fair where the actors moonlight in the fairground booths.
The puritanical reformers are determined to close the theatre and abolish the Fair, and ‘accidents’ begin to happen – but Mary Trotter and her friends at the Bay-Tree are determined to expose the conspiracy, and the action reaches its climax at the Fair when the players are faced with the ultimate act of terror.
Once again, David Fairer offers the delights of the classic eighteenth-century novel, intricately weaving a murder mystery with authentic history, and bringing the London of Queen Anne to life.
COVENT GARDEN, January 1708.
Widow Trotter has big plans for her recently-inherited coffee house, not suspecting that within days her little kingdom will be caught up in a national drama involving scandal, conspiracy and murder...
Queen Anne s new Great Britain is in crisis. The Queen is mired in a sexual scandal, spies are everywhere, and political disputes are bringing violence and division. The treasonous satirist Bufo is public enemy number one and the Ministry is determined to silence him. Drawn into a web of intrigue that reaches from the brothels of Drury Lane to the Court of St James s, Mary Trotter and her young friends Tom and Will race against time to unravel the political plots, solve two murders, and prevent another.
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