The Art of Deception 32

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice


This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week (I didn’t count correctly, so it became a bigger sunday snippet.) Roderick and Edward discussed the evening ahead, and that their rooms had been searched. This ten line extract shows the other side’s opinions of the state of affairs.

Lucy knocked on the door and came in, “I’d say he’s unusual; Did Alice tell you he saved her life this afternoon?”

“He did, how?”

“My horse bolted for her barn; he helped me get the screw under control”

“Oh … I presume he is an adequate horseman.”

“An excellent one.”

“Then I wonder how he is with his lock picks; he had a full set of screws and burglars’ tools; the only thing missing was a jemmy.”

“Did you find anything else?”

“Unfortunately, no.”

Lucy continued, “Edward and Mr Stanton wished that we would join them for dinner; I think Edward wants to ask me something.”

Alice rolled her eyes; then she glanced at Martha; it was clear she was equally amused.

Now that you’ve read my hackery, please see the talented writers in Weekend Writing Warriors.

My apologies for creative punctuation.


The featured image shows historic lockpicks. Isn’t it interesting that you can refer to a poor excuse for a horse as a ‘screw’ and the word at the time for a lock pick was also a ‘screw’? The most common mechanism for locks has changed since the early 1800’s and with that the form of the picks. The two ninety degree bent objects on the left of the image above are the most important part of a lockpicking kit – tension bars. You use them to place the lock in “tension” so that the pins can be adjusted until it opens. Unlike Hollywood, you can’t just use a pick on its own. The actual “pick” itself isn’t as critical. I’ve had best luck with the feelers (picks 1 and 4) but the others work – especially if you’re better at it than I am. If you have a tension bar, you can improvise a pick from almost anything you can reliably shove in the lock cylinder. One of the more amusing examples is a strip cut from the lid of a can of cat food.

Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.

Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.

Author: rharrisonauthor

International man of mystery. Well not really, although I can mangle several languages and even read the occasional hieroglyphic. A computer scientist, an author and one of the very few people who has both an NIH grant and had a book contract. An ex- booktrope author and a photographer.

12 thoughts on “The Art of Deception 32”

  1. I’m enjoying the historical lessons you include with your snippets. However, I worry just a tad about your skill as a lock picker. I know indie authors don’t make much much money, but still….


    1. Real thieves use bolt cutters. It’s actually a cross-over from my work in computer security where lock-picking and “constructive mischief” sort of goes with the territory.


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