OVERRIDE

A Weekend at Blenheim

A Novel

J. P. Morrissey

Minotaur Books

In this enthralling and atmospheric tale of murder, revenge, and redemption, a young American struggles to make sense of a world he does not understand, where the price of acceptance may be murder.

John Vanbrugh is an outsider in the England of 1905: A determined but unsuccessful American architect, he has moved to London to make a new life for himself and his wife, Margaret. When he receives an unexpected summons to meet the dazzling Duchess of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace, he is skeptical.

The young duchess, Vanbrugh comes to understand, has her reasons. Like him, she is American-born: Consuelo Vanderbilt, one of the richest debutantes in America. Seemingly on impulse, the duchess hires Vanbrugh to renovate her rooms at Blenheim--a plum job Vanbrugh accepts. He and his wife join the weekend party at Blenheim, a group that includes the foul-tempered duke; his young cousin Winston Churchill; the society painter John Singer Sargent; the duchess’s mother and American suffragette, Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont; Gladys Deacon, an American friend of the duchess; and the enigmatic Catholic Monsignor Vay de Vaya.

Almost as soon as he begins work at Blenheim, Vanbrugh uncovers a series of unsettling letters that hint at a long-concealed deceit. As he tries to grasp the meaning of this discovery, a sketchbook owned by Sargent is stolen and a young housemaid is found in the courtyard, strangled. It is then that Vanbrugh realizes he is caught in a maze of duplicity and manipulation with no way out. Struggling to uncover the treachery he sees around him, Vanbrugh is forced to reevaluate everything he thought about Blenheim, himself, even the very nature of truth.

Part mystery, part gothic morality tale, A Weekend at Blenheim is a compelling, mesmerizing, deeply satisfying novel.

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Weekend at Blenheim
chapter 1SUMMER 1905I was in a foul temper the afternoon the letter came. London had been hellishly hot the entire month of June--a hazy, oppressive, provoking heat that seemed to enervate the city and everyone in it. It was all but impossible to work, or even to keep drafting paper dry enough to draw upon. Every time I rested my hand on a sheet for longer than a moment, my palm would cling to the paper, dampening it so badly that it was difficult to draw on with either pencil or ink. I was forced to redraw the elevation of a small villa the firm had been commissioned to
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REVIEWS

Praise for A Weekend at Blenheim

“A gripping tale of intrigue.” --Iain Pears

A Weekend at Blenheim is elegant and terrifying. J. P. Morrissey weaves this mysterious tale with passion and precision, conjuring a gothic tale so chilling you won’t be able to put it down.” --Adriana Trigiani, author of Big Stone Gap and Big Cherry Holler

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • J. P. Morrissey

  • J. P. Morrissey is an editor and writer who lives outside New York City.
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    A Weekend at Blenheim

    A Novel

    J. P. Morrissey

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Minotaur Books

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