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Summary

Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls' school in 1830s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories - the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks. 

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher's fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group's undoing as King's readership continues to cut into their profits. 

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow author, she is well known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King's whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship. 

For the first time, Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author, where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.

©2019 Sarah M. Eden (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Lady and the Highwayman

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What a refreshing delight!

I hope there is a sequel because this was absolutely wonderful. Can there be more Elizabeth and Fletcher? Can there just a series of their adventures and their penny dreadful writings? But also can there by an Alice and Horace book? What a skillfully constructed novel. Three stories all tied up into one, serving each other as the story progressed. And never some insurmountable impediment stopping our hero and heroine from finding one another! I just loved it. Justine Eyre was excellent, I especially enjoyed Fletcher’s scruffy accent. She did a commendable job with Stone’s southern US accent. Sadly she still hasn’t gotten her Scottish/Irish down. But I always find myself forgiving her for it. Not everyone can be Mary Jane Wells or Alex Wyndham when it comes to Irish, Scottish and Welsh accents. And JE always invests an emotion in her reading that I find unmatched. So if you can hear past Brogan’s accent, you should be happy. I’ve also discovered the wonder that is Sarah M Eden and can’t wait to read more of her stuff. JE should narrate more of Eden’s work. Highly recommend to anyone that wants a fulfilling, fun, and engaging story. There are a pleasant number of loose ends that want addressing which makes me hopeful for more in the Dread Penny Society could be forthcoming.

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  • D. Adriene
  • 30-09-19

Cute and fun story

This is the first Sarah Eden book I have ever read/ listened to, so I can not compare it to her other work. But it is sweet and fun, with the hero and heroine being quite competent and lovely. Although listed as a historical romance, it is very tame and likely listed as sweet by ‘audible escape’ ( meaning there is some kissing and feelings of heat when hands are held). Altogether I thought it was most enjoyable! The narrator is great- the voices for different characters are well differentiated and include English, Irish and American accents. She has a good cadence and rhythm as well. The only thing that could have possible been improved upon was a longer pause or including some sound or background to differentiate the written ‘dreadful’ stories of the hero and heroine.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Patiotoole
  • 29-09-19

Charming and Unexpected

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Sarah Eden’s books but this one was quite unexpected. It is a charming romance as well as a mystery and romance within the romance. Do yourself a favor and take the time to enjoy this one. The narration is also incredible and spot on.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Kiri Patterson
  • 27-09-19

Charming, and so much fun!

I felt like this book is a bit different than Sarah's other books, but I loved it! Loved how the main character felt at odds with herself between being desperate to please society and slightly less proper desires. Loved the romance, and danger woven throughout. Was such a fun read!!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-03-20

Great story, disappointing end.

I really enjoyed the plot, the unique style of writing, and the characters. The only problem I had with this book is that it leaves a couple unanswered questions when it ends. There are two characters in the book that are introduced as a mystery and they're never solved at the conclusion. Which infuriates me like none other.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lyssa
  • 04-10-19

Awful narration

Strange breathy halting at the end. Of. Every. Single. Sentence. Did not like the male portrayals - sounded like stodgy old men. And most of the narration made the writing feel very melodramatic. I read half of the book myself- much better.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 29-12-19

Eden's books are always great

I'll admit I was distracted while listening to this book so I'll have to listen again. Dang it. Eden's books are always awesome so that won't bother me at all. I do recall laughing at the dialogue several times which makes a book extra fun, don't you agree?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Geri
  • 21-09-19

Unusual but just as wonderful!

I love Sarah Eden books and have read all that are published. I found this one unique to her other books but enjoyed it just as much!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kristin
  • 29-09-20

Darling mystery/romance

I loved it! Delightful read! Will be looking for more by Sarah Eden. Justine Eyre’s performance was spot on, as usual.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karissa Eckert
  • 30-06-20

Cute, fun Victorian mystery with romance

Audiobook Quality (4/5): The narration for this audiobook was well done. I really enjoyed it and have no complaints. Story (4/5): This story focuses on two different characters; Elizabeth Black and Fletcher Walker. Elizabeth runs an all girls school and writes society stories on the side. However, she also has a secret identity as a male writer of Penny Dreadful novels. Fletcher is a Penny Dreadful writer who lifted himself out of poverty with his writing skills. Unfortunately, sales of a new mysterious Penny Dreadful author are cutting into his profits...profits he uses to help the poor of London. Elizabeth and Fletcher end up mixed up together in a mystery involving missing street urchins and find out they have more in common than they thought. This was a fun, light Victorian mystery with some romance. I enjoyed it. It’s well written and makes for a fun, quick read. Characters (4/5): The story really revolves around Fletcher and Elizabeth. They are both heartfelt and well done characters that I enjoyed. Both make their way through proper society but also have somewhat secret divergent personalities as well. There are a number of street urchin children as side characters and they were well done. In addition to that you get to read both Fletcher’s and Elizabeth’s Penny Dreadful series and meet the characters of those stories. Setting (4/5): The story was set in London and at Elizabeth’s girls school. I always enjoy a London setting, but it wasn’t really the main point of the story. Writing Style (4/5): At first I was a bit confused about what was going on here. However, once I figured out what was going on I enjoyed it. The story goes between Fletcher and Elizabeth’s POV, but there are also sections from both Fletcher’s and Elizabeth’s Penny Dreadful series in here. So you would go from Elizabeth to Fletcher to Elizabeth’s novel to Elizabeth to Fletcher to Fletcher’s novel. This was kind of confusing in audiobook format but probably would have been clearer in written format. Aside from that issue I enjoyed Eyre’s writing style, it was easy to listen to and fun. This is a feel good story and things never get too urgent or dire. My Summary (4/5): Overall this was a fun and cute Victorian mystery with some romance in it. I enjoyed it, there's a lot of humor in here and I liked both the characters and the mystery they are trying to solve. While it’s fairly forgettable, it was a fun diversion and a perfect light listen for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Selene
  • 26-03-20

Interesting

The story was short and sweet! Very entertaining! However, the narrators male voices- eek! I would had enjoyed the story much more of she had just used her voice- as is.

1 person found this helpful