W is for Westerleigh

Good day. I am Westerleigh Hartford, one of the few, proud descendants of Elizabeth Hartford. All of my life, I’ve studied, worshipped, and looked up to the ancestor wh was a scholar, sorceress, who carried off being a most unladylike lady with pride and presence. She became my ideal, the focus of my own studies. Now I have an opportunity I’ve been waiting for my entire life. Fiona Hartford, another of Elizabeth’s descendants and my own distant cousin has invited me to Hartford Hall. This is a chance to wander the rooms Elizabeth once lived in, to read the papers written by Elizabeth herself, and see the original portrait of Elizabeth by Judith Cross hanging within view of the grand stairway. There are just three problems with this opportunity. One, Fiona thinks I’m a girl. It’s clear from her letter she’s expecting and welcoming a female cousin. Second, my beloved Yuri Cross, a direct descendant of Elizabeth’s Judith Cross has a bad feeling about this offer, even though Yuri is willing to help me disguise myself as a girl to get access to the Hartford Hall. I’ve learned to trust Yuri’s instincts. Thirdly, reality seldom lives up to my dreams. Elizabeth, the object of my hero worship, is no exception. I’ll discover this in A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words. For Elizabeth had dark secrets, which lingered on after her death. Yuri and I are about to find ourselves caught in the middle of them.

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