Still, the house was a pretty one, part severe classical, part that Frenchified Gothic so popular in the fading years of the Nineteenth Century, with a stubby tower and very large front porch. It was grand without being as ostentatious as the larger British country houses. Indeed, it as just the sort of place the stylish blonde still dreamed of living. Large enough to be grand, small enough to be lived in all the year.
And the grounds were lovely, set out in an informal manner, with paved walkways and winter flowers, the grass higher than perhaps it should have been. She paused by a particularly mature tree, looking back at the house, then out at the moors around it. This was an oasis of civilisation in the midst of bleak wilderness. She closed her eyes, drawing a great sigh.
"New here?" a voice broke in on Ms. Madison's reverie, causing her to start.
"You know it," she sighed, turning. "After all, I wasn't here yesterday."
"I suppose so." The speaker was a tall young man, broad shouldered and ruggedly handsome. "I'm Alan Lane."
"Lynette Madison," the blonde extended a slim hand. "I'm the entertainment. You?"
"Then you can tell me who he is," she laughed. "I don't know him from Adam."
"You should be able to now," a harsh voice broke in on the conversation. The speaker was a dark-haired woman. "Adam didn't have his neck broken and his face hideously mutilated."
Ms. Madison gasped, the colour draining from her face.