Close this search box.

The Earl in the Shadows

Marian wakes up in a strange bedroom, in a house she does not recognize.

The Earl in the Shadows

Author Name:

Release Date : April 20, 2021

ISBN Number : 978-1-61138-944-9


Kindle Reader = Mobi
Others = Epub


Marian Halcombe #4
The Thrilling Victorian Adventures of the Most Dangerous Woman in Europe

Marian Halcombe Camlet comes to awareness in the Dower House of a grand English country house, but she can’t remember how she got there.

Marian Halcombe Camlet wakes up in a strange bedroom, in a house she does not recognize. She has a new name, and a job, as the companion to the Dowager Countess of Brecon and Stowe, on the vast estate of Cranmorden in Gloucestershire. How did Marian get here, and why? The Earl of Brecon and Stowe has a secret, but Marian has forgotten it. She has to discover the lost memory, and then resolve the secret, before she can return home.


Just last night finished reading Marian Halcombe: The Thrilling Victorian Adventures of the Most Dangerous Woman in Europe, by Brenda W. Clough, and I had such a good time! The steadfast alliance between Marian, the dangerous woman of the title, and her more decorous sister, Laura, is a delight, as is the growing consternation of the men – hero and villain alike – as they come to realize just exactly what – who! – it is they’re dealing with. The book’s voice is pitch perfect, which adds to the fun. I’m in for the next one.
– Sharon Lee, co-author of the Liaden Universe® novels

It’s a sequel to The Woman In White – but it’s so much more than that. This is a bodice-ripping yarn, a Victorian melodrama with a modern sensibility, a delightful romp, a thriller and a romance and a comedy of manners all at once. I adored it.
– Chaz Brenchley, author of Three Twins at the Crater School

Brenda Clough’s invincible and endearing Marian Halcombe Camlet easily enters the company of Jane Marple, Miss Maud Silver, Pamela North, and Prudence Ford as a British female sleuth in the mid-1800s. The Marian novels are an absolute joy to read.
– Paul S. Piper, author of The Wolves of Mirr

A ripping yarn! Thrilling, lushly Victorian, with a dashing heroine who is not even handsome, yet she bags a delightful husband – not without considerable heroic effort and derring-do – and upholds the finest traditions of pure womanhood! (Well… kinda pure.)
– Jennifer Stevenson, author of Local Magics


Brenda W. Clough writes novels. These include How Like A God from Tor Books, and the Edge to Center time travel trilogy from BVC. Also look for Revise the World, expanded from her Hugo and Nebula finalist novella, and Speak to Our Desires.

Share :

Marian Halcombe Camlets journal
4 January 1865

The unfamiliar snow-light in my eyes woke me. It reflected, bright and cold, from the whitewashed ceiling above my head. I was not lying beside my husband Theo in his big four-poster bed at home, nor in the half-tester in my own bedroom next to his, nor the simple bed of my girlhood at Limmeridge House in Cumberland. Instead a counterpane rough with strange embroidery was under my fingertips. I stared for a long time at the walls. They were papered in an old-fashioned rosebud pattern, faded pinks and tans that I had never seen before.

My treacherous knees shook under me as I climbed out of the bed. My feet in their bedsocks stumbled over the edge of a worn hooked carpet, cut down from a grander proportion to fit this ordinary space. I tottered over to the double window and leaned weakly on the mullion in the centre. With difficulty I forced my eyes to take in the whiteness outside. A snow-covered garden, entirely unfamiliar. The trees were laden and bowed with white, and the sky was hard and colourless as diamond. Shrubs laid out in patterns and beds were mere mounds, and the paths were almost invisible.

At the edge of one bed was a tray raised on a pole, for feeding birds. A slender woman in a long grey cloak and hood was carrying a bowl of birdseed and waiting for the servants to finish sweeping the way for her. She saw me and waved. Instinctively I raised a hand in response. But who was she? I didn’t recognise her.

Then it came to me. The wall. The attendants. The simple, sparsely furnished room. I was in an Asylum. I had been put aside by my husband and shut up in a madhouse, as my sister Laura had been by her own wicked first husband. The thought was so terrifying that my heart seemed to jump and squeeze in my chest. My head reeled, and before I could fall to the floor I groped back to the narrow bed and collapsed into it, weeping.

External Links

Book Sample

Choose Book Format


External Links

Downloadable Links