Lying with Lions by Annabel Fielding is an Edwardian historical fiction novel set in the grand home of the Bryant family.
Agnes Ashford has been hired as an archivist for the Bryant family, her mammoth task is to use the documents and artefacts stored in the 12-mile maze of tunnels under the castle to create a timeline and history of the family.
Agnes’ ambition and curiosity draws her closer to Lady Helen Bryant, becoming the confidant and lover of one of England’s most wealthy and politically influential woman, however, as Agnes digs deeper into the family’s past she finds some secrets that potentially have the power to destroy Bryant’s influence and standing.
The book’s overall tone is one of intrigue and mystery as Agnes not only untangles the family secrets but also the lies from the truth while working to keep her past firmly locked away. Lying with Lions is a fantastic read for lovers of historic fiction, political novels or lesbian fiction.
An excerpt from Lying with Lions
‘I know about your son Gregory’s death’.
‘I should certainly hope so’. Lady Bryant’s posture is still erect, and she is doing her best to speak lightly. ‘Given your duties’.
‘I mean to say that I know how he truly died’, Agnes says quietly, and steps closer.
Lady Helen Bryant gathers herself upright, as if preparing for an attack. ‘My son died of pheumonia’, she says. ‘
Your son died of starvation. I’ve seen it written in your own hand’.
The older woman inhales sharply. ‘What is it that you want? Money?’
‘I’m only here because I want to help you’. It sounds better than I’m here because I want to be here, upstairs, in this bedroom of black and gold lacquer, and not in my solitary room behind the baize door where life and time goes to die.
Lady Bryant laughs briefly, and Agnes has never heard a laughter this humorless. ‘Very well; let’s phrase it in a more genteel way. What would you like as a reward for your help?’