Beautiful Polly is accused of a murder she did not commit and is sentenced to die by hanging. When a dashing nobleman offers to help her find the real murderer, she gets more than she bargained for—in love and in life.
"I am going to die, she thought. It is sunny, and the whole of London is happy and joyous because I am going to die." The great Marquess herself had come to enjoy the show.
"Speech! Speech!" roared the crowd. Polly raised her hands and the crowd fell silent.
"My lords, ladies, and gentlemen," said Polly from the foot of the gallows. "Why is it that such as I who am poor and have nothing should hang for a petty theft when such as she," - here Polly paused and pointed straight toward the woman who’d captured her - "Mrs. Blanchard, that abbess of Covent Garden, can commit murder on the souls of innocent country girls over and over again, and yet go free!"
With those words Polly said her farewells and at last, "I bid you good day, my friends. We shall meet again. For such as you who enjoy a spectacle such as this will surely roast in hell!"
M. C. Beaton
M. C. Beaton is the pen name of bestselling novelist Marion Chesney. She is a prolific writer of historical romances and small village mysteries. Born in Scotland, the author began her writing career as a fiction buyer for a Glasgow bookstore and has worked as a theater critic, newspaper reporter, and editor.
The author has written under various names, most notably as M. C. Beaton for her Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series. She also has written under the names Sarah Chester, Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax, Marion Gibbons, Jennie Tremaine, and Charlotte Ward.
The author lived in the United States, but now splits her time between the Cotswolds, England and Paris, France.