Charles Goodgame is a portrait painter who’s in love with his stepsister Polly Capstan. She works for the Duke of Burfaughtonleigh at his crumbling stately home in Gloucestershire. Polly invites Charles to paint a portrait of the Duke, but when he arrives, he finds that she has an ulterior motive, a brilliant idea that will make them ‘pots of money’. The plan goes wrong, of course …
The supporting cast of characters includes aristocratic crooks, a widowed Viscountess with a penchant for Italian waiters, an artist with a guilty secret who is being blackmailed by the alcoholic wife of a theatre impresario and a bank manager who carries handcuffs and a shotgun when chasing fraudsters, but not everyone is who they appear to be. All their lives collide in a series of scandals, shocks and surprises that continue to the very last page.
Ken Wilson has been writing educational materials for nearly fifty years, and sold more than ten million books before he wrote his first work of fiction. In all, he wrote more than thirty English language teaching titles, including a dozen series of textbooks. His most successful course book series, Smart Choice, published by Oxford University Press, is in its fourth edition and has sold more than six and a half million copies. His first publication was an album of language teaching songs called Mister Monday, released when he was 23, which at the time made him the youngest-ever published ELT author.
During his working life, he was also a trainer, conference presenter, theatre director, radio and TV programme writer and audio producer. Until 2002, he was artistic director of the English Teaching Theatre, a company which performed stage-shows for learners of English all over the world. The ETT made more than 250 tours to 55 countries.
Five years ago, Ken decided he had written enough English teaching books and embarked on a Creative Writing Master’s degree at Birkbeck College, University of London. He graduated with merit in 2017.
Cover illustration by Rowan Conway