As before, two men and a title. The rest is lunacy.

Robert Scoville and Jonty Stewart in The Shade on a Fine Day (Charlie Cochrane)

Tall, slim and devastatingly handsome Robert Scoville has only one rival for the title ‘Britain’s bluest blooded stallion’ – Jonty Stewart. Jonty has eyes as blue as Laurence Dalaglio’s manties and hair the colour of Strongbow cider. His chiselled good looks send women into ecstasy and men into Boots the Chemist for a facial kit.

Will their rivalry erupt into violence? Or will the dreadful secret they both hide – that they’d both rather run with the geldings rather than the mares – be revealed by sulky temptress Charlie Cochrane who wishes either or both of them would come and share her jelly babies?

Garnet Littleton and Jack Darling in Lessons in Prevarication (Alex Beecroft)

Charming but feckless rich boy, Captain Garnet Littleton is being
blackmailed for his affair with the First Sea Lord by the Sea Lord’s
corrupt manservant, Jack Darling. But when Garnet sends the Impress
service after Jack, dragging him on board ship and imprisoning him in
the hold, the tables are turned. Will he enact a bloody (and possibly
titillating) revenge on the man who threatened his life for so long?
Will they succumb to the fellow feeling of men who have both suffered
the stigma of silly names? Or will Garnet just put off dealing with the
problem for so long that Jack starves to death in the dark? Find out in
the psychological thriller, Lessons in Prevarication.

Orlando Coppersmith and Etienne Beauchene in Aftermath

When brilliant but moody Etienne Beauchenne, star of the Sorbonne Applied Mathematics department, loses his lover in a duel over the correct way to pronounce Moet et Chandon, he flees Paris for Brighton. There he finds Orlando Coppersmith, once a numerical genius but now a curator at the geological museum, heart-broken because his lifetime love has run away to join the Tiller girls.

Will Etienne’s steady hand make itself felt on Orlando’s Arsinoitherium? And will they discover that there is, indeed, life after math?

And this one has to be today’s winner, for the last line if nothing else.

Jack Darling and Garnet Littleton in Lessons in Prevarication

Jack spots Garnet across a crowded auction floor and falls desperately in love with his bloodshot eyes and his air of lank Byronesque lassitude. He can’t bring himself to broach the subject of his infatuation but goes home and writes letter after letter none of which he posts. Desperate for Dutch courage, he takes brandy laced with laudenum, finds the muse within him, writes and writes letter, none of which are perfect, but still he strives for the PERFECT words to express his love for the beautiful Mr Littleton.

Sadly, the drug takes hold, he forget to eat and drink and he’s found
crushed to death beneath a hundred weight of shifted papers he was too weak to push off – and clutching a badly drawn picture of Garnet.

The story is told in blank verse.

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