The Press is pleased to announce the re-release of ASTRID DARBY & THE LAUGHING by Eleanor Prophet, an exquisitely constructed Victorian mystery, now part of the Smashwords Summer Sale catalogue!
Now rogue from the Ministry of Defence for his outrageous accusations against the renowned and well-connected Professor Julius Coffin, Agent Asher Key engages Astrid to help confirm that the professor is indeed responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of no less than ten people. Despite her scepticism, Astrid concedes to facilitate his investigation, and they join the professor’s annual retreat to his private island, the Isle of Jules, an island rumoured to be home to mysterious and sinister forces. Amidst jealousy over Asher’s attention to their fellow reveller, the lovely Chanha Behari, Astrid’s own distraction by Chanha’s handsome brother, Imaron, and her young cousin Xander’s particular attachment to the professor’s frail and bafflingly ill daughter, Juliana, Astrid and Asher attempt to unravel the dark secrets of the island. The sudden disappearance of their man, Reinhart, persuades Astrid that something treacherous and terrible is truly afoot on the island. If they cannot discover whether their deadly foe be head hunters, exotic beasts, ghosts, vampires or their odd, secretive host, their island holiday could become something far more perilous, indeed. What they reveal about the island and its master, however, is far, far worse than their wildest suspicions could possibly conceive.