A TRACE OF COPPER
An Elemental Web Tale – A Novella
New recruit to the Queen’s agents, Dr. Piyali Mukherji is given a simple first assignment. Travel to the small Welsh village of Aberwyn and solve the mystery of a young woman’s blue skin lesion. A challenging task, for the alarming infection is unlike anything she’s seen before—and it’s spreading.
Evan Tredegar, the town’s pharmacist and the only man to ever capture her heart, knows more than he’s telling. Despite his efforts to push her away, her touch reawakens old desires. As more villagers fall victim to the strange disease, he’ll have no choice but to reveal his secrets, even if it means sacrificing his freedom.
Together they must move past broken promises, capture a rogue frog, and stop the infection before it spreads out of control.
“It bit me,” the young woman informed Piyali, hiking her skirts and rolling down her woolen hose. “Right through my stocking.” Miss Price, the shopkeeper’s daughter, plopped down on a chair and propped her foot upon a stool, pointing. “And now it’s blue.”
Dr. Piyali Mukherji leaned closer. As insane as Miss Price’s words sounded, they rang true. Her ankle was indeed blue.
Well, part of it. There was a decided lesion approximately two inches in diameter above her fibular protuberance. Piyali pressed two fingers against the blemish. She would describe it as an infection. Except it didn’t appear inflamed, and it wasn’t hot to the touch.
And it was blue.
Unheard of. But that was why she’d accepted the Crown’s commission, taken on the added duties of a Queen’s agent. The Duke of Avesbury, the gentleman at the head of this small, select group, had offered her a chance to be on the forefront of investigations into strange and unusual medical conditions. This certainly fit the bill.
“A frog bit you.” Piyali’s eyebrows rose, hoping she’d heard wrong. “A blue frog. With teeth.” Did frogs have teeth? And frogs—at least in Britain—were supposed to be green. Or brown.