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A Reputation Dies

It was a splendid soiree to start the new social season. The creme de la creme were eyeing new frocks, new romances, and most certainly, the new bride of Lord Velmond, last season's most hotly coveted bachelor.

The first novel in the Rutherford Trilogy.

The novel was first published by Methuen in 1984. The title is taken from a line of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock.


Lady Windlesham cared deeply about the success of her soirêes. The one she was holding early in the season of 1816 was to be, she hoped, a memorable one. After all, she had managed to secure the presence of Mr Marmaduke Yarnton – that notorious gossip and scandal-monger – as well as those newly-wed lovebirds, Lord and Lady Velmond.

But Lady Windlesham’s party turned out to be memorable for the worst of all possible reasons. Her famed guest, Mr Yarnton, who had been behaving suitably maliciously all evening was found dead – murdered – in the cloakroom, strangled with his own cravat.

But good friends of the Velmonds offer to clear their good name. Justin Rutherford dares danger to find the real criminal. And his pert, witty niece Anthea volunteers her own special talents to find the true villain – as well as her heart’s most fervent desire.