The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston, Book 2
Is there really such a thing as mesmerism?
In the early 1800’s many believed there was. They likened it to a strong animal magnetism. And there were several scientists who appeared to have proven it to exist. I suspect the difference between those who could control others and the scientists who could not do so was based on the strength of their pheromones.
By 1778, in Paris, Mesmer caused an immediate sensation with his therapeutic group séances and induced psychological trances. Later, in the 1800’s experiments were performed where a scientist far away from the patient, mentally called out to the patient and they would leave their house in a trance and hurry to the doctor’s home while other scientists followed behind, to verify it happened.
What the successful mesmerist had was charisma, animal magnetism, or, more likely strong pheromones that could overwhelm those with a good sense of smell.
Unfortunately, Mesmer was soon declared a fraud and charlatan, and a Royal Commission was tasked with his investigation. Ironically, much of his work would be considered sound in modern day therapies, specifically those based on genuine sleep-like trances and psychological empathy which is now used commonly by our modern day psychiatrists. Unfortunately, while mesmerism appears to have been real for some scientists, to further study it, would ruin their careers, so it was shuffled off to mountebanks, and the doctors returned to their leaches.
But rest assured. In the hands of a competent doctor who had strong pheromones, the impact for those with sensitive noses was all too real.
When Amy and her friend Domnika arrive in London, she discovers her guardian, Nicolas, is under the thrall of his ‘perfect’ wife. Neither is happy she has come. The only person who seems pleased with her arrival is the handsome valet, Antonio, who turns out to be far more than a servant.
Needing to escape her guardian’s care, Amy and Domnika take refuge at a fellow schoolmate’s home. Antonio leaves Nicolas’ service and becomes one of her many protectors. Unlike the other protectors, he becomes the first of many admirers that vie for her hand.
All the while, Nicolas continues to prove over and over that he is not the fine fellow her uncle had thought.
As Amy walked Yardrow across the garden towards the house, she spoke again. “Inspector, do you have any cases where people claimed they were under the thrall of someone else?”
“All too frequently,” he replied. “It’s a very common excuse to blame behaviors on someone else.”
“But have you had cases where you believed it might be true? Where a man or woman was so seductive that they could get the lover to do as they bid?”
“I’ve had many cases where there has been influence, but a person always has control of their own actions.”
“Could I possibly read your notes on the cases where this occurred?”
“I’m sorry, but no.”
“Because I am a young lady and should not read such things?” she asked in frustration.
“Because my notes are not for public viewing. Only members of the Metropolitan Police and members of the law are allowed to see what is in an investigative file.”
She sighed with resignation. “Do you remember if any of the perpetrators of the crime had an excellent sense of smell?”
“No, I don’t recall, and I doubt such a detail would be in my notes.”
He couldn’t help but feel he had disappointed her with his sloppy note taking. “May I ask why this topic interests you so much?”
“I attended my first ball this last Monday and near the end I encountered a man named Count Velaski. Are you familiar with him?”
“Do you have crimes in which the criminal said the count had them in his thrall?”
“No. I am familiar because of what occurred last year to seven young ladies. I trust you had the good sense to keep him at bay.”
“I had no sense whatsoever from the moment he approached me. You are quite wrong about people always having the ability to control their actions. I was completely lost to the count and I am convinced that it was due to my acute sense of smell. I know you are busy, but if I solve your crime as to who murdered Sicily, do you think you could use that ‘saved’ time to search your files and see if you did make note if any of the criminals had an acute sense of smell?” She then briefly explained her theory.
Book 1- Pure Innocence
Book 2 – Love’s Betrayals
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More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations. Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.
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