The Heart of Darkness (The Chaucy Medieval Mysteries, Book 1)

By Odelia Floris

Historical fiction, Crime & mystery, Romance | Paperback, eBook


Set against the open skies and wild beauty of southwest England in 1430, The Heart of Darkness is a medieval mystery about one young woman’s quest to shed light on the dark secrets of her shire’s sheriff and help him hunt down the villains responsible for a spate of local kidnappings—before they strike again. When Lady Sabina spitefully volunteered her well-educated cousin Rowena as temporary personal clerk to Chaucy Shire’s sheriff, she could not refuse. An unmarried young woman with dead parents and nothing to her name has little choice. But Rowena dreads it. She has heard a lot about the darkly handsome knight: heartless, hot-tempered, impossible to please, just plain bad... As she meets Sir Richard's cold, unnerving stare for the first time, the future does not look good. However, Rowena is not the only one with a problem. Strangely, Rowena's presence at Eaglestone Castle deeply disturbs Sir Richard, who appears determined to intimidate his terrifyingly cunning new clerk into quitting. Unfortunately for him, Rowena finds her new master as fascinating as he is frightening. His finances are over-stretched and highly irregular, and his murky past seems to conceal a dark and painful secret. His fury at the meddling of a lowly clerk whom he cannot sack because of her connections is intense, and his unexpected flashes of tenderness towards her only add to the confusion. But with the local people growing increasingly angry at their sheriff's failure to find three kidnapped girls, Sir Richard is forced to enlist Rowena's help. Can this precarious pair catch the villains who have been carrying off Chaucy's maidens before they strike again? And can Rowena get to the bottom of Sir Richard's mysterious financial woes before he loses everything? Then the stakes become higher than ever when the man whom Rowena thought she would never, could never, love challenges his greatest enemy to a fight to the death. Will he triumph, or will his life bleed away into the dust, and her heart with it?


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Set against the open skies and wild beauty of southwest England in 1430, The Heart of Darkness is a medieval mystery about one young woman’s quest to shed light on the dark secrets of her shire’s sheriff and help him hunt down the villains responsible for a spate of local kidnappings—before they strike again. When Lady Sabina spitefully volunteered her well-educated cousin Rowena as temporary personal clerk to Chaucy Shire’s sheriff, she could not refuse. An unmarried young woman with dead parents and nothing to her name has little choice. But Rowena dreads it. She has heard a lot about the darkly handsome knight: heartless, hot-tempered, impossible to please, just plain bad... As she meets Sir Richard's cold, unnerving stare for the first time, the future does not look good. Howev...


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I have always been captivated by stories that take us on haunting and extraordinary journeys deep into far-flung lands or hidden worlds, and that make new sense of the already-familiar or present magical new possibilities. Pair this with an imagination that is quick to turn a towering rock formation into a castle or people a forest path with a dreamed-up knight, and fiction writing was probably an inevitable occupation! Growing up in rural New Zealand surrounded by beautiful nature (and taking full advantage of it by not spending much time indoors doing schoolwork) provided an abundance of inspiration, which I have been using to create stories and characters from a young age. My blog focuses on inspiration and creativity - check it out. When I'm not writing, I love to spend time painting in watercolour, reading, horse riding, making or listening to music, gardening, and doing creative projects. I live, with my family, my two horses and a much-loved cat, on a sixteen-acre rural property on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island.


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I have always been captivated by stories that take us on haunting and extraordinary journeys deep into far-flung lands or hidden worlds, and that make new sense of the already-familiar or present magical new possibilities. Pair this with an imagination that is quick to turn a towering rock formation into a castle or people a forest path with a dreamed-up knight, and fiction writing was probably an...


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