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Miss Preston's Predicament (live sales)

Miss Preston's Predicament (live sales)

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It was a truth universally ignored, most principally by the dowager Dame Hartwell, that ghosts and gatherings did not mix.

For fans of Olivia Atwater, Tilly Wallace, and Charlie N. Holmberg

In this short story (approx 5,500 words), the fashionable and eccentric dowager Dame Hartwell has lured the reclusive Miss Tessa Preston to attend her drawing room séance. If Dame Hartwell can't convince Miss Preston, her former protégé, to return as her medium-in-residence, she doesn't know how she will protect her son and his new fiancé from the brewing storm of malcontent spirits surrounding them.

"Miss Preston's Predicament" is a short story between novels by Belinda Kroll. This story can be read as a standalone, but it includes characters and references events from Haunting Miss Trentwood, the first book in the Hesitant Mediums series.


Tessa imagined all the ways in which she could reveal Sylvia’s ineptitude. She let her gaze sweep over the room, playing along for now. “What do the spirits want of me?” When Madam Sylvia did not respond, Tessa turned to her, ready to witness more inane dramatics. What she saw instead gave her a start.

Madam Sylvia bolted upright, her spine rod straight. She threw her head back so that her careful auburn coiffure fell to her shoulders. Her hands clawed at her neck in a gentle, hypnotic manner.

The audience held their breath after a collective, horrified gasp.


Romantic rating: None. This is an action story showing off why Tessa is my Victorian Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but with ghosts.

Tropes: Read this story for a fun, light read featuring gaslamp fantasy, Victorian comedy of manners, and plucky BIPOC ghost hunter a la Pride & Prejudice and Zombies.

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All Things Cozy & Bookish collection

Illustrated portrait of Belinda, created from an app

Books by Belinda Kroll feature sweet romance, comedy-of-manners dialogue and action, gaslamp genre settings, and mundane, magical, or paranormal elements. Short stories may or may not include romantic elements.

Thanks for reading my escapist Victorian stories.

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