This post was written by Dara.
Cambridge, 2004: We find Eloise back in the states babysitting undergrads and worrying about the status of her relationship with Colin. On the eve of his arrival, she discovers through a happenstance discussion with her teaching partner a possible clue to the whereabouts of the missing Pink Carnation – the vampire of Belliston Square with Mrs. Gwendolyn Reid all over it.
London, 1806: Miss Sally Fitzhugh is finding her second season a bit stifling, and truth be told lonely. In an effort relive the glory days of adventures with her friends (rather than hearing about their escapades with spies – and billiard balls, no less—second hand) she finds herself in the middle of the garden of the Duke of Belliston, rumored vampire and confirmed mysterious bachelor. While Sally finds the Duke intriguing, his relatives are clearly less than pleased at his return to England, but never the less require his presence at his sister Lady Clarissa’s ball then following night.
The gossips are in full swing at the ball, full of misinformation about Lucien, who is attempting a less than successful reconciliation with his sister and an unsettling discussion with his uncle about the murky circumstances surrounding his parents’ deaths. Sally, after a profound discussion on the merits of stoats as pets, takes it upon herself to find the Duke and provide some friendly advice on surviving the Ton.
Before she can offer said advice, however, a mysterious note arrives for the Duke and the two find an unknown woman, murdered, with a vampire bite. Rather than allow the murder to be pinned on the Duke, Sally persuades the Duke to leave, with the promise to call on her the next day, before sounding the alarm as only she can.
There is always so much that happens in each chapter, it is impossible to capture everything (and I can’t do it half as well as Lauren does anyway). What is your favorite part of our first section? What did you think of our reunion with Turnip and Arabella?