I wrote this novel almost forty years ago. I read a still-popular gothic romance, Rebecca, and was taken aback by its inherent immorality. For fun I composed a parody, which evolved into its own mystery. Told from the butler's point of view, it reveals his coming of age as a secondary theme.
Poor Eddie Quirk! In the early 1900s he was butler at Slanderley, home of the cursed de Loverley family. Two puzzling aristocratic marriages and a demented housekeeper shatter his hope for calm. The haunted ancestral mansion, skulking servants, chinless aristocrats and a clueless bride get a delightful re-vamp in this briskly-paced spoof. Deaths fall like spiders. Eddie struggles in a web of intrigue, with little help from co-workers Sloth or Widgeon. Housekeeper Mrs. Anvil is plotting evil as well. Typical of British mysteries, the plot turns and twists when least expected, yet ends most satisfactorily.
Taking place in the early 20th century, the story folds in the style and events of the times: Edwardian, WWI, postwar. Accordingly the humor relies upon British idioms and love of absurdity. A touch of Monty Python and Wodehouse. Or Rhys Bowen with a more twisted sense of humor.
(In 2019 I published a 2nd edition to add bits that will accompany the prequel in preparation: The Slanderley Curse. I am simultaneously working a sequel, taking place in WWII, Slanderley at War.)
“Sly and mirthful, and unexpected. I had a ball reading this twisty and hilarious tale of mystery!” --Mary Regan
“Slanderly is hilarious...a perfect book to read and enjoy with a cup of tea, before your nap. There are surprises around every corner and I couldn't put it down. “ Susan Salengar
“Slanderley is a river read. When you think you're getting there, there is one more bend, like life itself. And odd and funny too.” –Barbara Sapienza
“Clarice Stasz has worked her charm with her impeccably irreverent prose in Slanderly. This quick witted satire will make you laugh out loud but also surprise you with each clever plot twist. Whether you have read Rebecca or not, you're in for a real treat.” –Kathy Andrews