FROM THE BOOK JACKET: In the winter of 1662, Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, is on her deathbed. She entrusts an ancient pearl, rumored to have magic power, to her faithful cavalier William Craven for safekeeping. In his grief, William orders the construction of Ashdown Estate in her memory and places the pearl at its center. 

One hundred and fifty years later, notorious courtesan Lavinia Flyte hears the maids at Ashdown House whisper of a hidden treasure, and bears witness as her protector Lord Evershot--desperate to find it--burns the building to the ground. 

Now, a battered mirror and the diary of a Regency courtesan are the only clues Holly Ansell has to finding her brother, who has gone missing researching the mystery of Elizabeth Stuart and her alleged affair with Lord Craven. As she retraces his footsteps, Holly's quest will soon reveal the truth about Lavinia and compel her to confront the stunning revelation about the legacy of the Winter Queen. 

Nicola CornickABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicola Cornick is a historian and author, and also works for the National Trust as a guide at Ashdown House in Oxfordshire where she drew inspiration for this novel. Her award-winning books are international bestsellers and have been ranslated into twenty-six languages. She lives in Oxfordshire.
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