The King of the Castle Author:Victoria Holt When Dallas Lawson arrives at the Chateau Gaillard, in the rich wine-growing country of southern France, she is received with astonishment by the members of the household. The widowed Comte de la Talle, whose family has ruled the chateau and its estates for centuries, had summoned to his hime "D. Lawson", expert restorer of old paintings, expect... more »ing a man, not this severe young Englishwoman.
Dallas is immediately captivated by the chateau, with its towers and narrow windows, its ancient moat, its dungeons and oubliette, where, centuries before, the de la Talles sent their enemies to a slow death. She is fascinated with her work of restoration, and with one exquisite painting, half obscured by dust and age - the portrait of a young woman who is wearing the family emeralds, which mysteriously disappeared during the Revolution and have never been found.
Dallas is viewed in strikingly different ways by the members of the household - by the handsome, aloof Comte, respected and feared by all; by his temperamental daughter, deeply affected by the death of her mother three years before; by the Bastide family, who have tended the chateau vineyards for generations. And almost from the moment she arrives, Dallas begins to hear strange rumors about the Comte, and the manner in which his wife really died.« less