Kage Baker began Nell Gwynne’s On Land and At Sea shortly before her death in 2010, and left behind a partial manuscript and outline. Here sister, and long time first reader, Kathleen Bartholomew, took up where Kage left off, and turned in, at 47,000 words, the longest Nell Gwynne adventure yet.
Description: The Ladies of Nell Gwynne’s are not your run-of-the-mill demi-mondaines. They are refined and educated ladies all, engaged in the more elegant and expensive forms of carnal delight in order to make their way in a hard world. But they also serve the Queen and the Empire, as the invaluable Ladies’ Auxiliary of the technocratic Gentlemen’s Speculative Society.
However, even the most dedicated operatives need a holiday from time to time. Nell Gwynne’s shuts down for a month at the height of every summer for recreation and relaxation. This summer the Ladies have retired to a respectable boarding house in Torquay, since Mrs. Corvey, the Proprietress, is very fond of the sea. She also needs a deal of relaxing, as the cook at Nell Gwynne’s has abruptly gotten religion and departed without notice for a less exotic position…
That is Mrs. Corvey’s only worry, though, when she and the Ladies arrive in Torquay, the Riviera of England. They all look forward to taking the sun, some moderate sea bathing, reading novels and indulging in a little light archaeology. As Hebertina happily observes, “Here’s to blessed chastity!”
However, Torquay has recently been invaded by an eccentric and overly romantic American, who has peculiar intentions—both toward the placid coast of Tor Bay, and the unassailable privacy of Lady Beatrice. There are rumours and sightings of a sea monster. There are dead butlers and thugs and fox terriers in inconvenient places. And the Ladies cannot summon assistance from the GSS, all of whose agents are pursuing convoluted schemes abroad in Europe.
It appears their holidays will not be nearly as quiet as might be hoped…but they will certainly be interesting.
Limited: 1500 signed numbered hardcover copies: $35
Check it out on Subterranean’s website: Nell Gwynne’s On Land and At Sea