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The Phantom of Linkshire Manor
The Phantom of Linkshire Manor
The Phantom of Linkshire Manor
Ebook68 pages1 hour

The Phantom of Linkshire Manor

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this ebook

Anna Forrester, a young physician's assistant, is summoned to care for James Rothwell, the handsome master of Linkshire Manor, after he is bedridden from an unusual illness. Anna agrees to stay in the house to oversee Mr. Rothwell's recovery, but she soon finds that the master's symptoms are only one of Linkshire's many mysteries. There are cries and whispers heard at night, servants acting suspiciously, and rumors that the death of Mr. Rothwell's wife might not have been the suicide it's been claimed to be.

Inspired by classic gothic romances, this novella from New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer weaves together a story of greed, betrayal, ambition... and love.

First published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin, "The Phantom of Linkshire Manor" is now available as a stand-alone story for the first time.

PublisherMarissa Meyer
Release dateJun 1, 2022
The Phantom of Linkshire Manor

Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, The Renegades Trilogy, and Instant Karma, as well as the graphic novel duology Wires and Nerve. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and a MA in Publishing from Pace University. In addition to writing, Marissa hosts The Happy Writer podcast. She lives near Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and twin daughters.

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    Book preview

    The Phantom of Linkshire Manor - Marissa Meyer

    The Phantom of Linkshire Manor

    Marissa Meyer

    Copyright © 2021 Rampion Books, Inc.

    Distributed by Smashwords

    The Phantom of Linkshire Manor is a work of fiction, but it deals with the real issues of mental health, depression, and suicide, which may be triggering for some readers.

    If you or someone you know is at risk, help is available at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.

    Anna emerged from the carriage onto a cobblestone path slicked with rain. The doctor stood at her side, holding an umbrella and digging through the back of the carriage for his satchel, immune to the sight of the looming mansion before him. But it had left Anna speechless the moment she’d spied it. A shadow, a castle, a ruin, towering over a sprawling landscape. She could see few details in the storm’s darkness, just the hint of spires jutting toward the clouds and a handful of arched windows lit by candles.

    Come along, then, Anna, Dr. Edwards said, grasping his satchel in one hand, the dripping umbrella still in the other, as he proceeded to the mansion’s imposing French doors. Anna caught her breath and followed along in his dry halo, clutching her own satchel with whitened knuckles.

    A woman opened the door before they could knock. She had a thin face that may have been handsome in youth, lithe limbs, and graying hair pulled into a knot at her neck. She nodded politely to Dr. Edwards and ushered them in out of the storm, letting the door slam against the roaring wind. Another servant, this one young and slight with wispy blond hair, took the doctor’s umbrella, hat, and coat. She moved silently and with her head lowered, as if she’d been trained to make herself invisible.

    Thank you for coming, doctor, the older woman said, lifting a candle off of an entry table. I dreaded to call you out on such a night, but the master became ill so sudden . . . I did not know what to do.

    Never mind that, it’s perfectly all right, Dr. Edwards said. Let’s have a look at him, shall we?

    Anna did not try to hide her roaming gaze as it landed on Grecian sculptures, oil portraits in gilt frames, speckled marble tiles beneath her feet. She followed the woman and the doctor up a wide stairway, her hand caressing the time-worn mahogany rail. She could sense the young maid’s eyes on her as she passed, probably curious to observe the town’s first lady doctor.

    They were led down a hallway lit by only a pair of sconces at either end. The floors creaked, but their steps were softened by plush carpets. The woman opened the door to a room at the end of the corridor.

    Dr. Edwards approached the bed, but Anna lingered near the door, waiting to be summoned. The furniture in the room was minimal: a writing desk and chair, a wardrobe, a reading chair beside a small nightstand, and the bed. But the pieces were fine, many exquisitely carved, their craftsmanship apparent even to Anna’s untrained eye. The fabrics on the bed and curtains on the window were rich and trimmed in the most delicate of laces. A fire burned in the hearth, providing the only light besides the housekeeper’s candle and a great deal of warmth. Though at first it was a welcome change from the chilling winds of the storm, Anna soon began to wish that the maid had offered to take her overcoat as well.


    She yanked her thoughts back to the doctor and hurried to his side.

    Check his vitals, dear, Dr. Edwards said. He turned back as Anna obeyed, opening her satchel on the small side table while the doctor began asking about symptoms, diet, and health history.

    Anna kept her ear on the conversation as she looked down at the patient. She had expected James Rothwell, the master of Linkshire Manor, to be old and frail, but she instead discovered a somewhat young, if very ill, man lying in the bed. She doubted he could be much past thirty. Though his forehead was beaded with sweat and his breath was slow and labored, he had no wrinkles to mar his complexion and his features were sharp and strong. His square chin prickled with the beginnings of an unshaven beard. His black hair brushed the base of his ears, longer than was the popular style.

    She went through the tests mindlessly, having done them a hundred times. She checked his pulse with her fingers against his wrist and found it frightfully quick. She glanced at the doctor, who was still speaking with the housekeeper, but did not bother to alert him. She knew he would have already checked this.

    The man’s skin was warm, clammy. Anna gently opened his chapped lips and peered into his mouth and throat as well as she could, finding it dry and irritated. She proceeded to his eyes, carefully lifting one lid with her thumb.

    The pupil was dilated, only a hint of a gray-green iris rimming the blackness. Anna pursed her lips and

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