Thursday, July 11, 2019

"Betrayal in Time"

Julie McElwain is a national award-winning journalist. Born and raised in North Dakota, she graduated from North Dakota State University, and moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for a fashion trade newspaper. Currently, she is an editor for CBS Soaps In Depth, covering the No. 1 daytime drama, The Young & The Restless.

Her first novel, A Murder In Time, was one of the top 10 picks by the National Librarian Association for its April 2016 book list. The novel was also a finalist for the 2016 Goodreads’ readers choice awards in the Sci-fi category, and made Bustle’s list of 9 Most Addictive Mystery series for 2017.

The series continues Kendra Donovan’s adventures in Regency England with A Twist in Time, Caught in Time, and Betrayal in Time.

When McElwain is not on her laptop, she enjoys traveling, exploring different cultures, spending time with family and meeting friends for Happy Hour. She lives in Long Beach, California.

McElwain applied the Page 69 Test to Betrayal in Time and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Thanks.” Kendra paused, lifting her face up to the black sky spinning with white crystals. For a moment, she stood there, absorbing the cold air scented with fireplace smoke. Alec stopped beside her, his gloved hand capturing hers.

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I suppose I’m thinking about how nothing changes, not really. People will always kill each other. For the damnedest reasons.” She sighed, and tugged Alec’s hand. “C’mon, my lord. Let’s go in before we turn into popsicles.”

“What the devil is a popsicle?”

Kendra laughed, and pulled him down the path. Harding was eyeing them from the door he held open. Hurrying up the steps, they joined Rebecca and the Duke, who were divesting themselves of their outerwear. Servants were bustling around the mansion, opening up rooms, taking linen covers off the furniture, dusting and sweeping. The scent of lemon, linseed oil, and beeswax drifted on the air. Even though kindling and coal had been brought in, and fires started in many of the hearths, it was still cold enough for Kendra to lament the lack of central heating in this era as she handed her cloak, gloves and bonnet over to one of the waiting footmen. Kendra kept her reticule, which contained the muff pistol, and her notes.

“Lady Atwood is with Mrs. Danbury in the morning room, sir,” Harding informed the Duke in his characteristically grave manner. “Shall I let her ladyship know that you have arrived?”

“Thank you, but I shall go to her myself. Send someone to Lady Rebecca’s residence to find out if her parents have arrived. Has my study been made ready?”

“Yes, sir. A fire has been lit, as well as several wall sconces.”

“Very good. We have dined, but if my decanters in the study haven’t been replenished yet, send up a maid with a bottle of brandy, and a pot of tea. And we shall need the slate board returned to the room. I trust it is around here somewhere? You did not dispose of it entirely?”

The butler slid a look in Kendra’s direction, but his expression remained impassive. “I shall supervise its return. Tonight, your Grace?”

“Tonight,” Aldridge confirmed, and glanced at his nephew. “Alec, if you will escort the ladies upstairs, I shall join you shortly.”
In Betrayal in Time, 21st century FBI profiler Kendra Donovan, who has been trying to adapt to her new life in the early 19th century, returns to London to assist Bow Street Runner, Sam Kelly, in a bizarre murder. The body of Sir Giles Holbrooke was found naked in an abandoned church, garroted, with his tongue cut out. The puzzle deepens when strange cross-like symbols appear on Sir Giles’ flesh during autopsy. When Kendra learns that Sir Giles was not an ordinary citizen, but a spymaster, she must figure out if his killer is connected to the treacherous intelligence world or something closer to home. While I don’t think page 69 illustrates the gritty, twisty path that Kendra is forced to navigate in this novel, it does give a small taste of what it’s like being a time traveler, the differences in language and lifestyle. It also shows Kendra as the ultimate outsider, no matter how hard she tries to fit in. When the Duke asks for his butler, Harding, to find the slate board they used in the last murder investigation, we get the sense that the servant looks at Kendra as an oddity, with a whiff of disapproval (although never overtly expressed in the Duke’s presence) that the American is once again involving their master in something as low-brow as murder.
Visit Julie McElwain's website.

The Page 69 Test: Caught in Time.

My Book, The Movie: Betrayal in Time.

--Marshal Zeringue