A Dreadful Splendor by B.R. Myers EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Author Name: B.R. Myers
- Book Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Gothic, Historical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Mystery Thriller, Romance, Thriller
- ISBN # 9780063209831
- Edition Language: English
- Date of Publication: 2022-7-12
- File Format: PDF / EPUB
- PDF / EPUB File Size: 4.4 MB
London, November 1852
“It’s good you’ve finally summoned me,” I said. “There’s no doubt a spirit
torments this house.”
Each grief-stricken face turned my way. I stood in the parlour doorway,
gripping the handle of my bag. Despite the blaze of the fireplace and the
richly upholstered furnishings, there was no sense of comfort. The heavy
drapes were closed, shrouding the room in darkness. The funeral bouquets
had begun to wilt, but their scent remained strong, saturating the air with a
The matriarch, Mrs. Hartford, sat beside the ornate fireplace. The flames
flickered, casting shadows that stretched up the walls like gossamer spirits.
A sheer black veil obscured her face, leaving only her chin exposed. Even
from across the room I could see a few wisps of white hair. Just like Billy
Goat Gruff, Miss Crane would say.
On the other side of the room, a younger woman was perched on the edge
of a settee, her silk skirt reaching the floor. Her finger was wound around
the end of a long string of pearls, and as she looked me over, she gave the
necklace a twist. It was a careless gesture, but she likely had more than one
set of pearls at her disposal.
The two gentlemen stood as I entered. So silent was the room, I heard
someone’s knees crack. The taller man had an ample stomach and a thick
grey mustache. The younger was thin and fair, clothed in an elegant jacket
that hung shapelessly off his slight frame. I guessed that our ages might be
close. When I nodded to him, he dropped his gaze to stare at the floor.
The servant offered my card on a small silver tray to Mrs. Hartford. She
plucked it up with her spindly fingers and held it close to her eyes. Her
jeweled ring and matching bracelet glinted in the fire’s light.
My knuckles tightened around the handle of the bag. This would be the
last one, I promised myself. In my mind, I conjured the picture of a room: a
bed with a thick quilt, a hot pot of tea waiting on the table, a door with a
lock for which only I had the key.
One more and I’d never have to do this again.
“Esmeralda Houghton,” Mrs. Hartford read, the veil fluttering with her
breath. “Spiritualist and communicator of the dead.”
I gave a quick curtsy. She returned my card to the tray, her eyes shifting
up to the portrait hanging above the fireplace’s mantel. As if on cue, the rest
of the family followed her gaze.
Mr. Hartford, I presumed. The painting portrayed a serious man with
grey hair and a strong posture. However, his eyes were focused not on the
artist, but off to the side, giving the impression that he was looking over
your shoulder. I was almost tempted to turn around, as if the object of his
attention would be standing there.
“Shall we get started?” the older gentleman prompted. He looked at his
pocket watch and smacked his lips.
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