Emily Darkwood is the embodiment of an age where the new world questions the old, and which idealises new philosophies, philanthropy and self-determination. Yet she is conscious of only being able to do so from the luxury of her privileged position in society—and also the caveats and limitations the same society places upon her. With strong aspirations and a fierce defence of equality and justice, she is often at odds with the circles she moves within. Her warm personality and wit softens most, and her bullishness and startlingly quick intellect bewilders the rest, but she can be troubled by the knowledge that her character and the way she determines to live her life can make her an outsider, and could well be a barrier to her personal happiness. It is in those times she is emboldened by the memory of parents.
Edward and Anne Darkwood were both historians, archaeologists, and collectors and traders of exotic antiques, and they themselves rode the ripples of polite disapproval within society through Edward’s respect and support of Anne’s steadfast determination to not be limited through her gender. Darkwood, herself undaunted by a theatre which resents her aspirations, follows her compassion and fascination for the sciences towards becoming a surgeon—at a time when no woman has done so before. However, the inspiration provided by the willingness of her parents to walk their own path is tempered through their loss. One stormy night in Darkwood’s childhood, Edward and Anne left their country estate in haste and without explanation, and after days without word from them, their shattered carriage and dead horses were found bogged down in a mire on the moors. The driver survived—but not with his mind, and Edward and Anne remained missing. Darkwood was made an orphan.
Entrusted into the care of her physician uncle, Darkwood is supported in her determined pursuit of an education and career, yet she is made an outsider again when she is awakened to the encircling world of the criminal and the supernatural through the stone of amber left to her by her parents. Darkwood finds herself not only questioning the fate of her parents, but their memory through their possession of such a talisman, and the nature of the stone itself. Through her determination for answers, strong sense of intuition, and recreational gun and sword play, she finds herself more prepared than most to confront the threats she encounters through following her supernatural guide-stone.
Darkwood finds that the uncertainty and danger she encounters through the stone to be balanced through it causing her to cross paths with the brash street boy, Jack Hobbs. Through Hobbs’ steadfast loyalty she has someone to trust with her vulnerabilities, and a companion set upon ensuring she has a constant in her life and will never stand alone. Yet, as comforting as that should be, with each painful loss they encounter together and the unfolding difficult truths about her parents, the stone, and what is at stake in holding it, Darkwood struggles with her choices, not wanting the burden of anyone but herself to be sacrificed in her dangerous pursuit of the truth in mystery…
Join Darkwood and Hobbs for Victorian horror and adventure in ‘The Darkwood Mysteries‘. The collection is available for pre-order for release this Halloween.