Tag Archives: Courtroom Dramas

Saving Grace – The Prime Suspects

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Easter 1876. Who poisoned wealthy banker, Charles Petrie?

Victorian Gully Spy

Prime Suspect #1, Dr James Collymore, a man familiar with poisons, a man harbouring a dark secret that, if exposed, would ruin his career. Did Dr Collymore poison Charles Petrie?

Victorian Mary Ann Keeber

Prime Suspect #2, Florrie Williams, an innocent-looking maid. However, Florrie supplied Charles with his final bedtime drink. Did Florrie Williams, pictured at the inquest, poison Charles Petrie?

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Prime Suspect #3, Bert Kemp, a disgruntled groom, a man sacked by Charles and thrown out of his home, a man who used poisons in his work, a man who four months previously had predicted Charles’ dying day. Did Bert Kemp, pictured at the inquest, poison Charles Petrie?

Victorian Cox Inquest

Prime Suspect #4, Mrs Jennet Quinn, a lady’s companion with a deep knowledge of poisons and a deep fear of dismissal. Did Mrs Quinn, pictured at the inquest, poison Charles Petrie?

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Prime Suspect #5, Grace Petrie, Charles’ wife of four months, a woman with a scandalous past, a woman suspected of poisoning her first husband, Captain Gustav Trelawney, a woman shunned by polite society. Did Grace poison Charles Petrie?

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Based on a true story, Saving Grace, “the courtroom drama of the year.”

Saving Grace will be published as an eBook, paperback and audio book in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with more languages to follow. The book will be backed by a major promotional campaign in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Europe. Reserve your copy now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99

Amazon Link

 

Saving Grace Pre-Order

Based on a true story and available from today, Saving Grace, “the courtroom drama of the year.”

Saving Grace will be published as an eBook, paperback and audio book in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with more languages to follow. The book will be backed by a major promotional campaign in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Europe. Reserve your copy now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99

 Amazon Link

The Western Mail

2 August 1876

Sensation in the Charles Petrie Case!

Readers may recall that a young banker, by name Mr Charles Petrie, with every opportunity of succeeding in his profession, and commanding a not illiberal income, returned home after riding his horse to dine with his wife, Grace, and her companion Mrs Quinn. During and after dinner he had nothing to excite him save the receipt of a letter which somewhat annoyed him, and that his wife consumed rather more wine than he considered to be good for her health. Immediately after retiring to his room he was seized with symptoms of irritant poisoning, and despite every effort made on his behalf, he succumbed to its effects. An inquest was held, which vexed the minds of the Coroner’s jury to a degree without precedent in Coroners’ Inquest Law, and an open verdict was returned. However, the matter will not rest there, for after questions in Parliament, a second inquest has been called under suspicion that Mr Charles Petrie was murdered.

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Who poisoned Charles Petrie? Dr James Collymore, a man familiar with poisons, a man harbouring a dark secret that, if exposed, would ruin his career; Florrie, the maid who supplied Charles with his bedtime drink; Bert Kemp, a disgruntled groom, who used poisons in his work, who four months previously had predicted Charles’ dying day; Mrs Jennet Quinn, a lady’s companion with a deep knowledge of poisons, and a deep fear of dismissal; or Grace Petrie, Charles’ wife of four months, a woman with a scandalous past, a woman shunned by polite society.

With crowds flocking to the courtroom and the shadow of suspicion falling upon Grace in the shape of the hangman’s noose, could dashing young advocate, Daniel Morgan, save her?

 

 

Saving Grace Background #1

It’s wonderful when your imagination and research overlap. In my mind’s eye I pictured Daniel Morgan, Grace’s advocate in Saving Grace, as Byronic in appearance. During my research I read that the real-life advocate Daniel is based on was also described as ‘Byronic in his handsomeness’. I think only a romantic would choose to speak up for Grace. In contrast, his rival advocate (in real-life and my book) had a weak chin, an unkempt moustache and he wore a monocle.

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Carys is a Welsh word for love while the Beaumond, or Beaumont, family were medieval lords. Carys is a young widow with an interest in books. As the story starts, she is translating early medieval manuscripts. She is also concerned about her friend, the extremely rich Grace Petrie, who is suspected of poisoning her husband. And so she hires the dashing Daniel Morgan, a lawyer, to save Grace. Picture, a coat of arms associated with the Beaumonds.

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Sker Grange, photographed c1901, Grace’s home in Saving Grace.

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Florrie Williams was Grace Petrie’s maid. She was the first on the scene when Charles Petrie was poisoned and a key witness at the inquest. Meanwhile, here is a maid’s typical day.

5.30 am Clean the kitchen floors

6.00 am Hot water

6.30 am Wake seniors, lay and light fires, lay servants’ breakfast, deliver nursery breakfast

7.30 am Water and tea-trays to family, empty chamber-pots

7.45 am Servants’ breakfast

9.00 am Family breakfast

9.30 am Clear and clean

12 noon Servants’ lunch, nursery lunch

1.00 pm Family lunch

2.30 pm Clear lunch, rest

4.30 pm Tea-trays for household

5.30 pm Servants’ tea, nursery tea

6.00 pm Lay dinner, help in kitchen

7.00 pm Family dinner, serve and clear

9.00 pm Servants’ supper

10.00 pm Bed

Wages in 1876, £20-25 per annum

Picture: a maid with her fellow servants and a guest, enjoying a tea and cake break.

Victorian Maid

Take a ride on a Victorian train.