Today at the Riskies we’re pleased to welcome back Janet Mullany (contest details and excerpts on her website) whose Regency chicklit Mr. Bishop and the Actress is officially released tomorrow but is available right now at, free shipping worldwide.

Hi Janet!

Hi Janet!

Tell us about the book.

You know what it’s about.

[Go on, pretend]

[Heavy sigh] Mr Bishop and the Actress, a work of staggering genius, stark unrelenting beauty, and fierce, unbridled passion between a man, a woman, and the regiment who loves them–oh sorry, wrong book. It started with the title and a first line, Sorry, darling, it’s either you or the horses. That actually became the first line of chapter 2. It’s about an actress–

An actress? Again?*

So? Yes, an actress who’s a mistress being discarded, hence the first line of chapter 2.

Maybe we should talk about what’s new for you in the book.

Okay. There is a prologue in third person omnipotent point of view, past tense.


I think that’s what it is. There’s also childbirth, death, a virgin hero, annoying parents, runaway children, bad jokes, and a look into the marriage of Shad and Charlotte from Improper Relations after three children.

No dancing bears?**

Very few animals. There are some dogs, a pig whose best friend is a dog, and a donkey whose best friend is a horse, and some poultry with Shakespearian names, but that’s about it.

That’s disappointing.

Not really. There is a bearded lady whose stage name is Fatima the Bearded Woman of Constantinople but who is really called Sylvia Cooper and who comes from Wapping.

That makes a nice change. How about sex?

Absolutely. Here’s an excerpt from page 46.

“Do you wear those spectacles all the time, Mr. Bishop?”

“Yes, except when I’m in bed.”

She smiles and rises to her feet. She reaches for the spectacles and removes them.

And then?

Explicit details follow in chapter four.


Chapter four is one page long.

Moving on, can you explain the title?

It’s an English joke. If you add “as the actress said to the bishop” to an innocent statement, it can sound quite dirty. It’s rather like the pleasing effect of adding “in bed” to a fortune cookie motto, which improves it no end (even if it’s a bible quote).

So please give us your example of an innocent sentence corrupted by the addition of “as the actress said to the bishop.” Janet will give away two signed copies of the book, winner to be announced on Saturday.

*A Most Lamentable Comedy, The Rules of Gentility
**A Most Lamentable Comedy