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Prism of Purpurine

Scientist Victoria McKenzie and her best friend, fine artist Abby, are looking forward to organising their double wedding and leading new lives in West Lancashire now that the restless spirit of Mauveine is finally content. But a clearing out of historic family junk triggers unexpected events, alerting Abby to question whether all in Orsbrick Hall has returned to the state of normality assumed. A strange artifact of pagan origin is discovered, exhibiting unusual characteristics which Victoria can’t scientifically explain, but her mind is forced to focus on more pressing and personal matters.

Fifteen years on and Victoria’s life has evolved. Her dye business is flourishing, Abby runs her international art gallery and both families are nicely settled. However sixteen year old twins Maddie and Bel and their twin brothers Ned and Zac, out on a canal cycling trip, find a key to a local murder which sets off a train of peculiar happenings and confessions. Have the horrific, seventeenth century demons, over whom Mauveine had no influence, gone away or are they back for revenge? Abby quickly realises that the responsibility to confront the McKenzie curse lies with her and now Maddie. But have they the capabilities to overcome the myriad of ghostly, hideous challenges waiting, once the true and disarming nature of their friends and family comes to light?


About the Author:

Roy Baldwin was born in South Lancashire and has lived and worked around the UK in various mathematical and scientific guises as an educationalist, night club owner, civil servant, musician, house conservator and management consultant. Prism of Purpurine is his sixth book. He is now a full time writer, book designer and digital publisher and regularly commentates on the book and publishing industry generally through Twitter.


A piece from Prism of Purpurine:

Victoria put the phone down and stared mindlessly out of the raised sash window towards the water-lily pond. Amazingly the sashes were still in good repair, one of the few positive things Uncle William had managed before he died. Given the expense repairing those it was just as well. Suddenly something large and black flew past across her line of sight, very close by and made her leap back. She stared down to see a huge black crow had landed on the jutting out gargoyle beneath the gutter. It stared malevolently up at her, squawking loudly. At least she thought it was a crow? Or was it a rook? She had no idea of the difference, but her innate scientific curiosity made her look more closely. The head was quite different from her expectation, oddly shaped with a distinctive bald patch and a jutting, curved, yellow beak, almost like a small vulture.

Despite her former top grades in natural sciences, this bird was nothing like she had seen before. The crow went quiet, looked at her again and flew onto a balustrade on the top of the round tower, near to her at the back of the house. She could now clearly see the square, wooden hatch window opening, which was looking in dire need of a repaint, and through which she understood Uncle William once gazed out with a telescope at the night skies. The crow remained standing, quite motionless and stared back, squawking loudly again, an odd and deep raucous cackle which made her shiver. They’d left that telescope room alone up to then; there was so much else practically to do first and make habitable. Julian intended to go in and sort the tower out later.

A faint whiff of something pungent drifted into her nostrils. But it wasn’t like before, that horrible odour of aniline whenever Mauveine had shown her ghostly but beautiful face. This was something far more unpleasant, a bad animal smell, reminding her of wet and dirty doggy fur. She wasn’t a lover of dogs, remembering the large, old and smelly hound Rusty, her father had kept at Cinderblack Lane when she was a small child. As usual her mother had vehemently objected, especially because he insisted on taking Rusty for walks every night along the canal at exactly the same time, and she kicked up such an unpleasant, incessant fuss that the dog was eventually given away to one of his colleagues at school. The dog was never replaced. Her father retreated to his spiders in the cellar and her mother continued to drink copiously. What lousy memories of her childhood, she still had after all those years. Little wonder that she ran far away at sixteen to Holland.

Then she realised. The smell must have been that strange crow; perhaps it was old and sickly. She sniffed again but the stench was gone, the light breeze through the open window having cleared the air …



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Paperback : 5 X 8 inches Pages: 282 ISBN:9781908636164 Published: Mar 2015 RRP: £7.99 / $13.49