The Return of Dulcie Bligh

GHOSTS final (2) 402

The indomitable Baroness Bligh packs up her friends and family, along with her pets and the Chief Magistrate of Bow Street, for a relaxing country Christmas, which — as often is the case with Dulcie — turns out to be nothing of the sort. Ghosts, murder, forbidden trysts and romantic misunderstandings: what can a lady do but try and set things right?

Quite a while back, I wrote a series of Regency mystery/romances featuring the eccentric and inquisitive crime-solver/matchmaker Baroness Bligh. The books were, in order: DULCIE BLIGH, THE BARONESS OF BOW STREET, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE VISCOUNT, AND BACHELOR’S FARE. I polished them all up for eBook reissue and didn’t think much more about the books until last year, when a reader wrote to tell me how much she’d enjoyed Dulcie and her family, and asked if I’d consider continuing the series. At that point, I remembered that there was a fifth, unpublished, Dulcie book — actually it was third in sequence of writing, a Christmas story that got lost in the shuffle when Putnam decided not to continue the series and Pocketbooks took it up in a slightly altered form. I dragged out the manuscript, decided that I really liked the plot but disliked the way I’d written it, and set out to bring everything up to date. I didn’t finish the rewrite in time for last Christmas, but did manage it this year.

And so, here is the missing Dulcie story, minus 14,000 of its original words. The rewrite was challenging, since I don’t write the same way now as I did then, yet wanted to remain true to the  style of the original stories. It was a great adventure. I ended up falling in love with the characters all over again.

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How exciting! I loved those books…

  2. I love this series. I wish you hadn’t said, “minus 14,000 of it’s original words,” because when that much is cut from the finished product, I have to wonder, “what did they cut? Was it language? Was it description? What?” I would love to read the full manuscript!! Regardless, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, consider continuing this series. I love Dulcie Bligh. She’s such fun.

    • Thanks for the comment, Sandra. What was cut was unnecessary verbiage that slowed down the story. (Trust me, you wouldn’t like to read the unedited version. I was a lot more verbose in the old days.) And I’m the one who made the cuts, so nothing that mattered was lost.

      It’s nice to hear that you enjoy Dulcie. I do sometimes think about bringing her back for more adventures. I have fun with her, too.

      • Thank you for replying. And so quickly. I was surprised. I can appreciate the struggle writers go through to create “just that perfect story.” And it is appreciated, believe me! I bought Dulcie Bligh years ago when it came out in hardback. You published it under the name of Gail Clark. I loved the book then and when I saw the others available in ebook form I just had to get them. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

      • And thank you for brightening up my day. It means the world when a reader says, ‘hey, I liked those people, too’.

      • You’re very welcome. Merry Christmas and Happy healthy New Year to you.

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