Last night at the Merola benefit gala. Longer post to come soon.

Happy Sunday!!


Mélanie's Laura doll in a blue pelisse just like the pelisse Laura Dudley wears in The Mayfair Affair

Mélanie’s Laura doll in a blue pelisse just like the pelisse Laura Dudley wears in The Mayfair Affair

My daughter Mélanie still lets me name most of her toys. Usually I resort of literary characters, my own or others. When she got a Pottery Barn Kids Götz doll for her 2nd birthday, Mélanie and Suzanne (one of our cats) were taken as name options, as was Jessica (the name of Mel’s beloved baby doll). So we named her Laura, after Laura Dudley, governess to the Rannoch/Fraser children and a central character in The Mayfair Affair, which I was writing at the time. Recently we paid our first visit to an American Girl Doll store (at the Stanford shopping mall). Laura is the same size as American Girl dolls and one of the American Girl dolls is from 1812. I couldn’t resist her fabulous collection of Regency clothes. Fortunately, Mélanie was excited when i asked her if she wanted to pick out an outfit for Laura “like the clothes in Mummy’s books.”

Mélanie selected the pelisse and hat above. Which is perfect, because in The Mayfair Affair Laura Dudley wears a dark blue pelisse trimmed with black braid. Laura Dudley is titian-haired and considerably older (35) than Laura the doll, but above is a glimpse of an ensemble not too far off from what she wears in the book.

Have a wonderful weekend! It’s a busy one for us – the annual benefit gala of the Merola Opera Program. A long, fun day, and a chance to wear a ball gown! I’ll post some photos next week.




Laura Dudley, governess to Colin and Jessica Rannoch, plays a central role in The Mayfair Affair. The story begins when she is accused of murdering the Duke of Trenchard. Laura has a heart-shaped gold locket that plays a role in the story and connects to some of the many secrets the Rannoch governess is keeping. To celebrate finishing the book, I bought myself a heart-shaped brass reproduction locket at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on my recent trip to New York with my daughter Mélanie. I love having jewelry that connects to my books and the Met has gorgeous historical reproductions. (Here’s a similar locket from their website).

Lunch at Isabella's, one of our favorite NY restaurants. Ending the trip as we began it, with dessert with a candle for Princess M.

Jewelry can be a great for whiling away time at restaurants too.

Mélanie is fascinated by the locket and loves opening and closing it. it was a great aid in whiling away waiting time in the airport and a conversational point at several restaurants meals, including lunch Isabella’s, above.

Do you have favorite jewelry from books? Have you ever bought something similar for yourself?

You’ll notice my website has a new look, thanks to my wonderful designer Gregory Paris (thank you, Greg!), that incorporates both The Mayfair Affair and London interlude.

Have a wonderful weekend!


watching "Fancy Nancy", Mel's first play

watching “Fancy Nancy”, Mel’s first play

Happy Sunday! After a busy day yesterday taking Mélanie to a children’s theater production of Fancy Nancy (her first play, which I described as “like an opera with talking” because she’s been to an opera), I’ve been spending today catching up on things around the house and thinking about the next Malcolm & Suzanne book. This morning, while cleaning, I was listening to the album of The Scarlet Pimpernel Broadway musical. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a big influence on the Rannoch/Fraser series, and listening to the score of the musical often makes me think of Suzanne and Malcolm their relationship and deceptions or sometimes of Raoul and how he relates to the two of them. But today I found myself thinking of Bertrand de Laclos, a character directly inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel. Bertrand has a cameo in The Mayfair Affair. He and Rupert are living happily, if in the shadow of secrets and with the delicate tension of Rupert’s marriage to Gabrielle and now her affair with Nick Gordon. But today, listening to “Into the Fire” it occurred to me that after living a life of danger and adventure and devoting his life to helping people at great risk to himself, Bertrand is not a man to live quietly in retirement, even with the love of his life.

I have no idea yet what influence this revelation will have on the next book in the series or on books in the future, but it’s going into my file of notes. I think it’s fascinating how what writers listen to, watch, read about, discuss, and otherwise experience goes to inform their books. I can’t always pinpoint where I got the idea for a book because usually so many different thoughts and experiences come together to inform each story. But if Bertrand plays a major role in the next book, I’ll be able to think back to today as the inspiration for the story.

Have a great evening!


The Albany, where David and Simon have rooms

The Albany, where David and Simon have rooms

Above is The Albany, in Piccadilly, where David and Simon have lodgings, and where Malcolm lived before he went to the Peninsula. A number of famous gentlemen lodged in The Albany, including Lord Byron, Gladstone and the fictional Ernest/Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. The Mayfair Affair includes scenes set in David and Simon’s rooms in The Albany. The Duke of Trenchard, who is murdered at the start of the book, is the husband of David’s eldest sister Mary, so David and Simon are caught up in the investigation. The involvement of the Mallinson family puts a lot of strain on Malcolm’s friendship with David.

Have a wonderful weekend!


In front of the current Bow Street police station. The Mayfair Affair opens with Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth knocking on Suzanne and Malcolm's door in the middle of the night.

In front of the current Bow Street police station. The Mayfair Affair opens with Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth knocking on Suzanne and Malcolm’s door in the middle of the night.

Six weeks until the release of The Mayfair Affair! Above is a picture (over a decade old) of me in front of the current Bow Street police station. The Mayfair Affair opens with Malcolm and Suzanne’s friend, Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth, knocking on their door in the middle of the night.

Have a wonderful weekend!!


The house in Berkeley Square that is my model for Malcolm & Suzanne's house

The house in Berkeley Square that is my model for Malcolm & Suzanne’s house

The house above in Berkeley Square is my model for Malcolm and Suzanne’s house. The Mayfair Affair begins in this house, with Malcolm and Suzanne awakened in their second floor bedchamber by a visit from Bow Street runner Jeremy Roth. Hard to believe it, but The Mayfair Affair will be out in just seven weeks! So excited to have it in the world. For the next seven weeks, I’ll be posting special features every Friday to make the wait go faster, so be sure to check back. And if you haven’t already seen it, London Interlude is out as an ebook, giving a glimpse into Malcolm and Suzanne’s first visit to London.

Have a great weekend!!



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