Mistress of Fortune Series

Mistress of Fortune

2015 Left Coast Crime Rosebud Nominee

Mistress of Fortune

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London, 1678

Isabel, Lady Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II, has a secret: she makes her living disguised as Mistress Ruby, a fortune-teller who caters to London’s elite. It’s a dangerous life among the charlatans, rogues and swindlers who lurk in the city’s dark corners, but to Isabel, the risk is worth the reward.

Until magistrate Sir Edmund Godfrey seeks Mistress Ruby’s counsel and reveals his unwitting involvement in a plot to kill the king. When Isabel’s diary containing dangerous details of his confession is stolen, she knows she must find it before anyone connects her to Mistress Ruby. Especially after Sir Edmund’s corpse is discovered a few days later…

Isabel is sure that whoever stole her diary is Sir Edmund’s killer—and could be part of a conspiracy that leads all the way to the throne. But as she delves deeper into the mystery, not even the king himself may be able to save her.

[Read the first chapter of Mistress of Fortune]

Praise for Mistress of Fortune

In her captivating debut, Mistress of Fortune, Holly West offers a skillfully re-imagined mystery set in late Stuart England. With a provocative and memorable heroine, West weaves a compelling tale of murder, intrigue and seduction.”—SUSANNA CALKINS, Macavity Award-winning author of the Lucy Campion historical mysteries

Lady Wilde is a fascinating character dancing the razor’s edge as a commoner within the King’s circle, and her story kept me up nights. A thrilling new series by a strong new voice, Mistress of Fortune brings 17th Century London to life…”—THOMAS PLUCK, author of Bad Boy Boogie

A perfect, transportive summer read.” —MARY VENSEL WHITE, author of The Qualities of Wood

Based on a series of actual events, author Holly West brings these historical characters vividly to life, warts and all. She draws the reader into the harsh and frightening reality of late seventeenth century London. No one is above suspicion and the innocent are often punished for the sins of the guilty.” DHARMA KELLEHER, author of the Shea Stevens Biker series and the Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter series

Mistress of Lies

Mistress of Lies


London, 1679

Isabel, Lady Wilde, mistress of King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as fortune teller Mistress Ruby, counseling London’s elite. But after the murder of one of her customers, business has taken a downturn, and Isabel is on the verge of accepting the king’s offer to move into the palace.

Isabel’s plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home, claiming to be her niece. Isabel always believed that her older brother, Adam, died alone during the plague. When Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel is compelled to take up an impossible task: discover the truth about her brother’s death, twelve years after it happened.

Isabel’s investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear-baiting matches and brothels to the realm of wealthy bankers. But as she uncovers her brother’s dark secrets, Isabel begins to wonder whether the past is better left buried—especially when uncovering the truth could lead to her own funeral.

[Read the first chapter of Mistress of Lies]

Praise for Mistress of Lies:

Deliciously addictive! In her capable hands, author Holly West seamlessly recreates a 17th century England full of royal scandal and political intrigue. At the heart of her series is Lady Wilde, unwilling to to be simply defined by her relationship to King Charles II as his mistress. Instead, to makes ends meet and support her loyal entourage, she assumes a secret identity as a fortuneteller, exposing her to new revelations about her own personal history. Even if you may be new to historical fiction set during this era, you will be hooked by this latest installment in the Mistress of Fortune series.” —NAOMI HIRAHARA, Edgar Award-winning author of Murder on Bamboo Lane and the Mas Arai mystery series

Holly West’s Mistress of Lies may be set in 17th century London, but it has the pacing and propulsive narration of a contemporary thriller. Though protagonist Lady Isabel Wilde is a woman of her time and circumstances, her situation, that of an intelligent woman trying to make a place for herself independent of the powerful man she loves but cannot trust, is one that modern readers will relate to. I hope we haven’t seen the last of Lady Wilde—I have a feeling there is much more of her story yet to be told.”—LISA BRACKMANN, author of the NYT best-selling Ellie McEnroe series (Rock Paper Tiger and Hour of the Rat)

With intriguing characters and a winning mystery plot, Holly West plunges you head first into the treacherous England of King Charles II. An absorbing ‘mystorical’ read.” —JERI WESTERSON, author of the Crispin Guest medieval mysteries

In Mistress of Lies, Holly West makes a historical mystery read like a modern thriller; action, plot twists, duplicitous characters, everything you’d want in a mystery of any era! A great read!” —MATT COYLE, Anthony Award-winning author of the Rick Cahill series

Mistress of Lies is a bravura historical mystery, full of spot-on detail, white-knuckle suspense and captivating, compelling characters. If you haven’t yet caught on to Holly West, don’t miss out–she’s a writer not only to read, but to savor.” —KELLI STANLEY, Macavity-award winning author of City of Ghosts