Hartlepool Hall has been in Ed's family for generations - but is that about to change and who is the mysterious Lady Alice?
Ed Hartlepool has been living in self-imposed exile for five years, but with a settlement regarding his inheritance looming, he must return to his ancestral seat, Hartlepool Hall. On his return, he discovers that his father has left him, along with the house, a seven million pound tax bill, two massive overdrafts, an 80-year-old butler and a vast country estate that is creaking at the seams. Not only that, but there is a strange woman in residence - Lady Alice - who seems to have made herself very much at home.
With the debts mounting, it seems that Ed's only recourse is to turn to his friend Annabel's new boyfriend, a property developer who plans to turn Hartlepool Hall into luxury flats and a golf course. But can Ed save his inheritance without such a drastic move? And is Lady Alice really the person she claims to be?
Paul Torday burst on to the literary scene in 2007 with his first novel, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, an immediate international bestseller that has been translated into 28 languages and has been made into a film starring Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Emily Blunt. His subsequent novels, THE IRRESISTIBLE INHERITANCE OF WILBERFORCE, THE GIRL ON THE LANDING, THE HOPELESS LIFE OF CHARLIE SUMMERS, MORE THAN YOU CAN SAY, THE LEGACY OF HARTLEPOOL HALL and LIGHT SHINING IN THE FOREST, were all published to great critical acclaim. He was married with two sons by a previous marriage, had two stepsons, and lived close to the River North Tyne. He died at home in December 2013.