The Casebook of Symington, Earl Byrd.

So you’ve found yourself here, have you? Let me bid you a “hearty welcome to my world!” No doubt you have the usual questions: who am I? Why am I? Why bother investing in my detective life?

I’m Symington, Earl Byrd, the second of four grandchildren of His Grace the Duke of Fflint. I have a sister, who despises me, a brother (Gideon) who despairs of me, and a wife (Manali), who lives in India,with my children and her lover. Our marriage restored her father’s honour and gives protection to her. Perhaps, if I told you why, some of you may forgive me for having a wife and a mistress, the beautiful – if shrewish – Serena. But I’m afraid that night in Sikkim remains private.And for all my best friend, Bertie, Prince of Wales keeps offering to arrange a divorce so that I can remarry, but that will never happen. I promised Manali’s father that and I don’t break my promises.

Finding out I was heir to the dukedom – not my cousin CC – I resigned my commission; returned to England, with an entourage of servants who don’t treat me like their master but more of a small bird in need of nurturing. Sampson, Watkins and Imran keep me and my scorpions in line and aid my investigative endeavours, which resulted from a boozy dinner with Lord Salisbury. Yes, that’s right, the prime minister. I’m his discrete pair of eyes and ears. Ferreting out the truth, when CC and his colleagues at Scotland Yard can’t. Delicately handling the scandals. Keeping the Empire in order.

Not enough you say? You want something else to tantalise?To entice? To whet your appetite for a good mystery?

I have one word for you: Her.

It’s really important that you meet: her.

Vital for the Empire. Your safety… and mine.

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