Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


PW #119: Adult Historical Mystery: A LADY’S GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND MURDER

Wednesday, 2 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript status: FINISHED

Mentor: E.B. Wheeler
Mentee: Dianne Freeman
Category/Genre: Adult Historical Mystery
Word Count: 81,000


A high society burglar. A marriage-mad sister. A murdered footman. When the London Season turns deadly, Victorian widow Frances Wynn fears one of her sister’s suitors may be the killer. She must use her wit, social artistry, and a circle of gossiping friends and enemies to find the culprit before she becomes his next victim.


Black—no. Black—no. Black crepe? Oh, heavens no! I bundled the offending gowns and dropped them on a bench for my maid to dispose of, then glanced around my dressing room. One word described it—mourning. In my wildest imaginings, I never would have dreamed I’d find myself a widow at the age of twenty-seven. Though for me, the difference from marriage was barely discernible.

While I’ll confess to a foolish infatuation, Reggie and I hadn’t married for love. My mother instigated the match when she brought me from New York to London. I suppose love had something to do with it. Reggie loved my money, and my mother adored his title. When we married, my family gained the consequence of that title. The Wynn family gained me, Frances Price, commoner. Oh, and a little over a million U.S. dollars.

True aristocrats that they were, to this day they acted as though they’d been swindled.

I’d endured a whole year of mourning with them. Miserable, yes, but at first I had no desire to show my face in public. While only two people besides myself knew the circumstances of my husband’s death, I’m sure many more had their suspicions. You see, my husband died just over a year ago—in his lover’s bed.

At a house party.

At our home.

Delightful man.

I eyed the gown I’d be wearing tonight, a rich royal blue. Ah, color in my life again. Mourning period over.

Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d love to have a look. Send the manuscript along when you have a chance. A Word doc is most preferable if possible.

  • I’d love to see this! Please send query + 10 pages pasted in body of the email + attach the full ms, with subject line: PITCH WARS + title. So excited! 🙂

  • I’m intrigued! Please send the full manuscript as a word attachment to stacey@donaghyliterary.com, place “Pitch Wars”- Title of story and genre in the subject line. Include your query in the body of the email. Looking forward to reading your story.

  • Lisa Rodgers says:

    I’d love to take a look! Can you send along the query (pasted into the body of the email) and the first 50 pages (attached as a .doc) when you have a moment to querylisa [at] awfulagent [dot] com? Also, please include Pitch Wars and the title in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Melissa Edwards says:

    I’d love to see the first 50 pages. Please email them as a double-spaced .doc to medwards@stonesong.com.

  • Jessica Mileo says:

    I’m interested in taking a look at the first 50 pages of this manuscript. Please send to jmileo (@) janklow (.) com with Pitch Wars Query in the subject line and the first 50 pages attached as a word document.
    Thank you!
    Jessica Mileo
    Janklow & Nesbit

  • This sounds like the kind of historical mystery I could get totally immersed in! I’d love to read the first 100 pages of this if you would please send as a Word attachment. You can email me directly at carrie(at)prospectagency(dot)com. If you would put PITCH WARS in the subject and the query in the body of the email that would be great. Excited to read more!!

  • Hi Dianne,

    How delightful! I’d love to see more. Can you please send the full manuscript, as either a word document or PDF to victoria.queries@irenegoodman.com with “Query” and “Pitchwars” both included somewhere in the subject line?

    Thank you so much!


  • Love the voice in this excerpt. Could you please send the query in the body of the email and the first 50 pages attached as a Word doc to queryjennifer[at]lizadawson[dot]com? Thanks!

    – Jennifer Johnson-Blalock, Liza Dawson Associates

  • Margaret Bail says:

    This sounds fun! Please send query and a 1-2 page synopsis in the body of an email, and attach the full manuscript as a Word document to: margaret(at)inklingsliterary(dot)com. Be sure to include PITCH WARS in the subject line.

  • I’d love to read this. Please send the full via email (word doc attachment strongly preferred) to query [at] handspunlit [dot] com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Roseanne Wells says:

    Hi Dianne–This sounds like a fantastic book! Please send the manuscript and a synopsis as Word doc attachments to queryroseanne@gmail.com. Can’t wait to read!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  • Melissa Jeglinski says:

    Love the concept. Please send the first fifty pages (as a word attachment) and the query (in body of email) to Melissa.Jeglinski@knightagency.net. Please put Pitch Wars Reques in body of email. Thank you.

  • Sarah LaPolla says:

    Yesss! Please send me the full query (pasted in the email) and attach the 1st 3 chapters. Send to sarah@bradfordlit.com with the subject line “Pitch Wars: A Lady’s Guide…” Thank you!

  • I’d be happy to read this! Please send pitch (in the body of the email), with synopsis and full manuscript attached as Word documents, to ESubmissions@SarahJaneFreymann.com. Please put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thank you!

    All best wishes,

  • LOVE THIS! Please send us more! Please send a query with the first 3 chapters to acquisitions@curiosityquills.com with ‘Pitch Wars’ in the subject line.

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.