Skip to main content

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr - Prologue

I’m posting an excerpt of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr!

A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with slow-burn romance and a supernatural twist
Part six in an epic-length serial novel

Lady Wynwood has discovered the gardening notebooks belonging to Bianca Jadis, the deceased mistress of the late Lord Wynwood and a former member of the treasonous group, the Citadel. However, the team is dismayed to discover that parts of the notebooks have been written in some sort of code.

Mr. Sol Drydale has kept hidden the fact that the notebooks have been found because he is unable to fully trust his superior officers at the Ramparts, the secret branch of the Alien Office. After all, when one of his own was kidnapped, the men who should have assisted him had seemed more interested in obtaining the Root potion that gives men supernatural strength.

But then two Ramparts agents bring information about an opportunity to capture the poisoner Apothecary Jack, one of the members of the Citadel. Sol is ordered to integrate these newcomers into his group, then plan a daring raid upon Jack’s new laboratory.

When things take an unexpected turn, Sol is faced with a terrible choice. Will he disobey orders, or will he forfeit the life of someone he holds dear?

PLEASE NOTE: Like the novels published in Jane Austen’s time, this is a novel in multiple parts. Each volume has a completed story arc, but this is NOT a stand-alone novel and the story continues in volume 7.

All the posted parts are listed here.


Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr

A Christian Regency Romantic Adventure serial novel

Camille Elliot

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:6

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Matthew 2:16-18

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9


Laura, Lady Wynwood, had never before been afraid of entering the attic, but she found herself frozen in the doorway, unable to force her body to move forward.

The storage space on the top floor of her townhouse was not bright by any means, for the small square window at the end only allowed in enough light to reveal the bulky shapes of the items stored within. The servants’ bedroom at the hunting lodge had been brighter during the day, and also far darker at night.

She found that it was the smell that rooted her feet to the floor. She had not realized that two attics could have the same smell of dust and the absence of people, of rooms overheated in the summer and cold and damp in the winter. Even though her maids cleaned the space fairly often, the attic seemed to exude a scent of disuse that was the same as the small room where she had spent so many frightening days and nights.

“Laura?” came the deep voice behind her.

Sol stood a few steps below her on the attic stairs. It was his voice alone that brought her back to her townhouse, not the room crowded with furniture at the hunting lodge.

Laura became aware that her heart was beating so fast and so hard in her chest that she could feel its thudding against her breastbone, and her breathing came fast and light. Her vision was darkening at the edges, and she put out a hand to rest against the doorframe to steady herself.

“This was a terrible idea,” Sol said. “Laura, let us return downstairs.”

“No, I am well,” she insisted, although even to her own ears, her voice was quavering and weak. She took a few more deep breaths, then said in a stronger voice, “And may I remind you, it was my idea to search the attic, so of course it would not be a terrible idea.”

Sol sighed so deeply that she could almost hear his eyeballs rolling in his head. “Yes, yes, all your ideas are splendid.”

“Never forget that, and we shall be friends for a very long time.” She took another deep breath to calm her nerves and then stepped into the storeroom.

For some reason, she clearly remembered the day when the current Lord Wynwood had visited her, bringing a wooden box of various items. He had been not only apologetic but also rather embarrassed. However, he had not acted in a cowardly fashion and shunted the task to a servant but had instead come to do the deed himself.

“I apologize that I must bring this to your attention again, but do you recall when your late husband’s attorney informed us of the piece of property that he purchased anonymously?” Lord Wynwood asked, his eyes shifting away from hers.

“Yes, I recall,” Laura said woodenly. The attorney had not stated as such, but it was apparent to Laura that it had been bought for the use of Wynwood’s mistress, Mrs. Jadis. However, it was unentailed, and upon succeeding to the title, Lord Wynwood had bought it from her, so she had not thought to hear of it again.

“I have just returned to town from looking over the property,” Lord Wynwood said. “It was a curious purchase, for I found that the house was nigh unusable due to fire damage. It was not the sort of domicile that was up to your husband’s standards and a place where he would be unlikely to spend even a single night. However, there was a greenhouse in good condition, and he apparently hired gardeners to care for the place.”

It was not uncommon for several of her friends to own a property outside of London with a greenhouse where they could grow flowers and fruits that would be delivered to them out of season. However, Laura had not seen any such things, so she could only assume that the greenhouse offerings had gone to Wynwood’s mistress. She tried to ignore the pang that went through her at the thought, but it was only a small one, for she had long since ceased to love him, and day by day had been struggling not to give in to her hatred and utterly despise him.

“You needn’t be concerned for my sensibilities, my lord,” she said. “Of all the people in the world, I was most aware that my husband’s priorities were not centered upon me.”

Her blunt speaking seemed to mortify him even more, as red crept up his neck and colored his ears a delicate pink. “I would never wish to bring such distasteful matters to your attention,” he said, still not quite meeting her eyes, “but he left a few items within the greenhouse. Upon his death, the gardeners were let go, and so all the plants were quite withered, but whilst cleaning, we found a few articles.” He indicated the wooden box, which her servant had placed on the floor just inside the drawing room door. He finally raised his eyes to hers, his gaze steadfast and kind. “Simply say the word, and I shall remove the box from this house and burn the contents. But I could not bring myself to destroy them without first consulting with you.”

“I am grateful for your kindness, but the items will not cause me distress. I will take them,” she said. At the time, she didn’t know why she had made that decision. It had been mere months after the funeral, but she had already gone through the house in an attempt to scrub away the terrible memories. Many things had been discarded, and she would have thought that she would instruct him to take the box away, its contents unseen, but something induced her to keep it.

She thanked him for his consideration and eased his embarrassment with some of her cook’s rich spice cake, and he left the house with a great deal less discomfort than when he had entered it.

Laura had looked through the box, but perhaps Lord Wynwood had removed any obviously feminine items, for all that remained were innocuous things. However, she had known that several things did not belong to her husband—a silver snuff box, a tin of ginger sweetmeats, some handkerchiefs smaller and finer than he typically used—and after a cursory glance, she had given the box to Aya. “Please take this to the attic,” she said in a strained voice. “I shall look through this at another time.”

That time had finally come.

Since that day, Laura had renovated the attic space, reducing the size of the storeroom and increasing the sizes of several servants’ rooms. The box could be anywhere.

Laura and Sol began searching in the tightly packed space. The servants had offered to help, but Laura had refused them. Somehow, it felt as though she alone could do this task, an act that would be like brushing away a particularly dusty cobweb from the corner of her heart.

She also did not want any of her servants to be with her when she found the box, for she was not certain how she would react. They had already seen her at her worst, but she feared that in finding the box, she would be at her weakest.

“There are so many things,” Sol commented as he lifted the sheet covering a set of hideous family portraits. “I believe that if your servants tried to help us, we would not be able to fit more than one or two people more in here.”

“Unless I granted the twins permission to scramble over the piles of furniture,” Laura said. “They offered to do so.”

“The scamps,” he said, although with affection.

The attic was warm even though it was barely an hour past dawn. But the heat of the kitchen and the spring sunlight beating down on the roof made the space almost too warm for the green shawl she wore. Nonetheless, she kept the soft lace wrapped close around her as she gingerly moved amidst paintings and tables and chairs.

Her body was still quite sore from her ordeal and her bones felt strangely brittle, but she tried to move as smoothly as normal so as not to alarm Sol. He had not wished for her to cut short her stay at Glencowe Castle in order to return to London, but the thought of Bianca’s notebooks had literally haunted her dreams—she saw Jack’s leering face, the blood around the knife thrust into Dr. Heddetch’s chest, Maxham’s pale eyes examining her carefully. She somehow felt that if she could find the notebooks, she could banish those images.

Sol had reluctantly agreed, but only because he knew that the notebooks were important to the Citadel and therefore they would be important to the Ramparts. And so he also wanted to do his duty and look for them, despite the shadow of distrust that he felt for them at the moment.

They searched for more than an hour before finally Sol called out to her, “Laura, I think perhaps I have found it.”

They had already looked within several wooden boxes, but none of them had been the one Lord Wynwood brought from the greenhouse. She approached Sol and held her lamp over the contents.

It was the smell that struck her first, a scent like rotting leaves, and yet with the faint sweet thread of dried flower petals. Then she saw the tin of ginger sweetmeats and knew that they had found it.

“This is the box,” Laura said, although her voice was dull rather than jubilant.

Sol seemed to understand what she might be feeling. He silently reached over to take her hand and squeezed it gently.

He handed her his lamp, and then he carried the box from the storeroom. She trailed behind him all the way down to the drawing room, blowing out the lamps and opening the door for him. When he laid the box on the carpet, she wearily sat on the sofa next to it.

Her knees were shaking, and she was not certain if it was because her body was still weak from the days of her captivity or because she was apprehensive about the contents of the box.

Sol began taking items and placing them on the low table in front of the sofa. Laura gently touched each one but did not pick them up.

Strangely, even the items that belonged to her late husband, such as the men’s driving gloves and the mold-speckled cravat, did not remind her of Wynwood at all. The strangeness that had struck her on the day that she first looked through the contents of the box returned to her, a familiar feeling that she recalled perhaps because of the dried flowers smell.

She had thought she would feel more pain upon seeing Bianca’s things, but now knowing that she had belonged to the Citadel, that she had had some other motivation and purpose in taking Wynwood as her lover, Laura found that she could view the items with a more coldly dispassionate eye than she had before.

With a cry, Sol removed three leatherbound notebooks that had been stored at the bottom. He laid two of them on the table and began flipping through one.

Laura also picked up a notebook. The leather was old and cracked, and the pages felt thick and springy. Upon opening it, she realized that the paper was wavy, perhaps from the humidity in the greenhouse.

Bianca’s writing was feminine, but not elegant—it looked like chicken scratchings with a few more flourishes. There were several gardening terms which Laura did not quite understand, and she skimmed through the first few pages quickly. Then her sight was assaulted by a wall of numbers.

She blinked, uncertain if the blows to her head had affected her vision, but the numbers remained in front of her eyes. Numerals ranging from single digits to triple digits, in seemingly random order. They were written in rows, but they did not line up in columns. Sometimes a number was underlined, and occasionally there was a checkmark in the margin next to a number.

Laura continued turning pages, but there were only more numbers. She finally reached a page that held what looked like a chemical recipe, which she understood only slightly more than the numbers.

“Sol …” she said.

“I know.” He turned the notebook he was holding so that the pages faced her, and again, there were only numbers.

They had thought that these notebooks would reveal all of Bianca’s secrets. Instead, it felt as if the woman herself was laughing in derision at them.

She had been a woman holding many confidences. They had known that, for she had hidden so many of her most important articles with Wynwood. Of course she would endeavor to hide her most precious information within these pages so that they could not be discerned.

Bianca had written in her notebooks in code, and they would need to solve it.


Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr is available for preorder at 40% off! Be sure to preorder before the price goes up on April 26th.

Also, join my newsletter to hear about my newest releases and get them at preorder sale prices!


Popular Posts

Laura’s Apricot Shell Shawl knitting pattern

I usually have a knitting project in mind when I write it into one of my books, but Laura’s apricot-colored shawl just kind of appeared upon the page as I was writing the first scene of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , and it surprised even me. I immediately went to my yarn stash to find a yarn for it, and I searched through my antique knitting books to find some stitch patterns. I made her an elegant wool shawl she could wear at home. The shawl ended up tagging along with Laura into the next book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner , where it imparts some comfort to her in her trying circumstances. The two stitch patterns are both from the same book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1842 . A couple excessively clever and creative knitters might have knit these patterns in the Regency era, but they would have only passed them around by word of mouth or scribbled “recipes” to friends or family, and it wouldn’t have been widely use

Phoebe’s Muffatees knitting pattern

In Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , Phoebe wears a pair of lace muffatees, or gauntlets/arm-warmers that hide a rather deadly surprise. :) I actually got the idea of having her wear muffatees because I saw a lace manchette pattern in Miss Watts’ Ladies’ Knitting and Netting Book , published in 1840, page 20. However, after doing some research, I found that they were called muffatees in the Regency era, and the term manchette did not arise until a few years later. They were essentially arm-warmers worn under those long sleeves on day dresses, which were usually made of muslin too thin to be very warm. I decided to knit Phoebe’s muffatees using a Leaf Pattern originally suggested for a purse in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 1, 5th edition published in 1842, pages 234-237. I think there was an error and row 36 in the original pattern was duplicated erroneously, so I have adjusted the pattern. The original manchette pattern called for “fine” needles a

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

New contest!

I haven’t had a contest since October! Here’s new one just in time for Christmas. I’m picking 3 winners to each be able to choose 10 books from my Christian book list! And yes, that list includes my books! 1) You get one entry into the contest when you sign up for my email newsletter at . If you already belong to my email newsletter, let me know! 2) You get a second entry into the contest if you Like my Facebook page: . If you already Like my Facebook page, let me know! 3) You get a third entry into the contest if you join my Goodreads group: . If you already belong to my Goodreads group, let me know! 4) You get a fourth entry into the contest if you follow me on Twitter: . If you already follow me on Twitter, let me know! 5) You get extra entries into the contest if you get someone else to join my email newsletter. Just email camy {at] c

One-Skein Pyrenees Scarf knitting pattern

I got into using antique patterns when I was making the scarf my hero wears in my Regency romance, The Spinster’s Christmas . I wanted to do another pattern which I think was in use in the Regency period, the Pyrenees Knit Scarf on pages 36-38 of The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, volume 1, by Jane Gaugain, published in 1840. She is thought to be the first person to use knitting abbreviations, at least in a published book, although they are not the same abbreviations used today (our modern abbreviations were standardized by Weldon’s Practical Needlework in 1906). Since the book is out of copyright, you can download a free PDF copy of the book at I found this to be a fascinating look at knitting around the time of Jane Austen’s later years. Although the book was published in 1840, many of the patterns were in use and passed down by word of mouth many years before that, so it’s possible these are

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 13

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** 36 誰かと結婚するとしたら、きっと駆け落ちだ。 クスクス笑うマリコのブライズメイドの後をついて、レックスはよろめきながらパゴダブリッジ・レストランに入った。泣きわめくティキの隣で四時間立ちっぱなし——マリコはレックスを列の最後に入れてくれたから、ありがたい——抜歯と同じぐらい喜ばしい経験だった。ノボケインなしで。 (ウェディングそのものは一時間だけ。よかった)リハーサルも終わり、あとはオリバーを見つけ、四時間ぶりに椅子に座って、祖母のおごりで高価なリハーサルディナー(結婚式リハーサ

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Quiz from Lady Wynwood's Spies #6 - question 5

The latest volume in my Christian Regency epic serial novel just released, so I thought I’d post a few of my favorite passages from Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr . “There is no need for you to apologize.” A sliver of her normal self seemed to return to her, and she lifted an eyebrow at him. “Yes, well, you should not have interrupted my argument with the tree.” “I could not stand by and watch you bully a defenseless beechwood.” QUIZ: Who is Keriah speaking to, Michael or Mr. Benjamin? EXTRA CREDIT: Why was Keriah apologizing to him? This exchange was an unexpected point of levity in an otherwise pretty heavy scene. It surprised me when I was writing it. Start the series with Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer ! A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with slow-burn romance and a supernatural twist Part one in an epic-length serial novel She met him again by shooting him. After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than mos