Today’s guest is definitely not here in person. That’s because she’s incarcerated in Holloway Prison. But she’s agreed to share this letter, which she wrote to Percy Sullivan a.k.a. Hotspur. Thank you, Anne Pargeter. (And Sally Quilford and Crooked Cat.)
Dearest Hotspur, I was so pleased to receive your letter and it warms my heart that you want to fight so hard for my freedom. I think your idea to get everyone to write down their own thoughts on the events of our time at Lakeham Abbey is awfully clever.
As clever as it is, I must urge you to give up this quest of yours. Time is running out, my dearest, and I do not want you to spend that time agonising over my fate. You have your whole life ahead of you, and you won’t be in that wheelchair forever, despite what the doctors say. You are capable of doing so many great things. If you align yourself with me, that scandal will harm you for the rest of your life, and I have no wish to do that.
People will tell you a lot about me, some of it true and some of it false. But know this. I would never have harmed you or Lily. I love you both so dearly.
Forget the darkness, forget me.
If you do choose to remember me, remember all those good times we had at Lakeham Abbey: the walks in the plantation, the picnics on the island with Group Captain Marsh… These are the memories that sustain me in these dark days.
I wonder… have you seen him? Is he well, do you know?
Please take care of your little sister for me. Your mother tries really hard, despite what people think, but she suffered abuse and manipulation at the hands of a devil for so long that it cannot help but leave its mark.
God bless you, my angel. I think that one day, if heaven allows after you have had a long and fruitful life, we will meet again.
About The Secret of Lakeham Abbey
When Percy Sullivan’s family take over Lakeham Abbey for the summer, it was a chance to get away from battered post-war London and be cossetted by the capable and pretty housekeeper, Anne Pargeter.
They soon learn that the Abbey conceals a dark secret — one that someone was willing to kill to hide. When Anne is convicted of murder and sentenced to execution, Percy is determined to do all he can to save his friend from the gallows.
He encourages everyone to tell their side of the story. This leads to some startling revelations, including a shocking secret that Percy’s mother tried to hide from him.
Will it be enough to save Anne’s life?
Find it on:
I love this novel. It’s light and humorous and so well told.
About Sally Quilford
Sally Quilford was born in South Wales, but has lived in Derbyshire since her teens. She has had novels published by My Weekly Pocket Novels and Ulverscroft, and her stories and articles have appeared in magazines both in Britain and abroad.
Sally has also run online courses, including the excellent workshop that spawned my novel, Neither Here Nor There.