Wednesday, January 11, 2023

"The Secret of the Lost Pearls"

Darcie Wilde is the award-winning author of stylishly adventurous historical mysteries and romances, including the Rosalind Thorne Mysteries, a Regency-set series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen, as well as the Regency Makeover Trilogy. She has also written, under the name Sarah Zettel, Locus and Philip K. Dick Award-winning novels, including Fool's War, a New York Times Notable Books of the Year selection.

Wilde applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Secret of the Lost Pearls and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Secret of the Lost Pearls takes place during a tense dinner scene where Rosalind is getting her first real experience with the interactions between the fractious Hodgeson and Douglas families.

It also has Mariah, the overlooked middle Hodgeson daughter, making what will be the first of a series of plays to distract attention from her younger, notorious sister, Leonora (Nora). Nora eloped with a handsome rogue, and has only recently returned to her family, telling them all that her husband is dead. Unapologetic and defiant, Nora is also financially dependent on her family. This makes her the leading suspect as the thief of a missing pearl necklace.

Rosalind, however, is reluctant to suspect Nora for being rebellious, young and discontent. She is certain there is more going on beneath the surface, and that the answer lies in the sister’s shared history.

In a lot of ways, this scene is peak Rosalind. She is not only sitting back and observing the family’s open sniping and gossiping, but she is directing the conversation, looking for hints of hidden motivation and real feeling in the middle of the biting wit and distracting declarations.

Rosalind is a veteran of London’s drawing rooms. She understands that its during these small, everyday interactions at tables and over teacups where people reveal their true selves, often whether they want to or not. But it’s also where power is (politely) established and exercised. In Rosalind’s point of view, personal motivation is the most important thing to understand in any human problem. Once that’s understood, then the rest of the answers will soon follow.
Visit Darcie Wilde's website.

The Page 69 Test: And Dangerous to Know.

The Page 69 Test: A Lady Compromised.

The Page 69 Test: A Counterfeit Suitor.

--Marshal Zeringue