· The Compact is a
Long Read (376 pages, 150,000 words approx.) It’s an LGBTQ
mystery/romance set in 1898, the London of Sherlock Holmes, with fictional
characters such as Dr Watson interacting with historical characters such as Aleister Crowley.

· The story is
a third person narrative; contains humour as well as Occult and Supernatural
themes. Other themes: obsession with beauty and youth; LGBTQ men and older
LGBTQ women in Victorian England; Goddess Inanna/ancient Sumer.

· Biographical
notes, bibliography and footnotes included.

· Non-explicit treatment of adult themes (appropriate to a crime/mystery story e.g.
murder, necromancy, dismemberment, rape).

Synopsis.

The action at first focuses on Harriet Day and her dearest friend, Alexandra Roberts. These two
romantically-attached middle-aged women work hard to maintain respectable middle-class
independence in an era of female economic disadvantage. Things take a sinister
turn when Alexandra begins to fall under the influence of a fascinating,
manipulative and wealthy woman by the name of Minerva Atwell, provider of a range of marvellous skincare products
to the likes of Lillie Langtry and other society beauties.

Meanwhile, one of Alexandra’s
‘gentleman boarders’, the enigmatic, child-like actor, George Arden, is wrongly accused of murder. In terror, he flees for
his life. Harriet, desperate to help him, goes to the address shown on a
calling card George leaves her: a kindly doctor who once met George and took an
interest in his wellbeing. Thus a solo Dr
Watson
, whose poor health has prevented him from assisting his friend Sherlock Holmes in a mission to Russia,
becomes involved in attempting to prove George’s innocence. At the same time, a
young Aleister Crowley has quite a
different motive for wanting to secure the safety of the actor. Crowley’s flamboyant
lover, Jerome Pollitt, patron and
friend of Aubrey Beardsley and talented
amateur female impersonator, is drawn unwillingly into the plot (Crowley’s and
Pollitt’s relationship is respectfully explored in the course of the book).

Simultaneously, at her remote spa
hotel, Minerva begins to induct Alexandra into the mysteries of a certain
ancient clay tablet upon which she has long been brooding. As Alexandra falls
further under her dangerous influence, Watson and Crowley grudgingly team up to
investigate precisely why the punctilious crime reporter, Albert Burroughs, would choose to bear false witness against George
– and begin to discover a series of grisly secrets.

Available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Kindle from 18th November 2017. ISBN 978-1-9998901-0-0