About the book

Nell Kydd has a problem - to be more accurate, she has a whole set of problems.

Her father is dead, her older brother Kit is missing and her loathsome uncle - not content with wrecking the family estate with his mismanagement - is proposing to marry her off to the boy next door.

Nell is determined to get secretly to London so she can speak face to face with her brother's solicitor. Her unconventional strategy to achieve this draws the censure of Hugo Derringer, an old schoolfriend of Kit's who seems to be asking some very odd questions for someone so newly come into the district.

Initially attracted to Hugo, Nell can't risk trusting him, especially as she suspects he is not being quite open with her either.

But what awaits her in London is more unexpected than she could ever have guessed.

The Kydd Inheritance is a prequel to Fair Deception.

Background to the book

In Georgian and Regency times, women had very little say in their own affairs. I wanted to write a book about a young woman who has to depend on her own resourcefulness and quick wits to put right a situation that she knows to be wrong. To do this, I had to get her off the estate and into an adventure of her own. Cue the Great North Road to London!

I was born and brought up in North Finchley, so it was inconceivable not to include infamous Finchley Common in the book. This was fascinating to research because it was enclosed after 1816 in a bid to prevent the lawlessness and much of the original has now been built over. I had a glorious time wallowing in old maps and discovering that quite possibly I once lived in a top floor flat just about where Nell was accosted by highwaymen.

Other things I researched along the way were old china (fascinating), the history of roses (wonderful), booksellers and pawnbrokers, the habits of bulls...

It's not easy, being a writer, but sometimes it can be the most enormous fun.

Read the first chapter here