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Conversations with
Mr. Prain

Overlooked by critics on its initial release in 2006, this erotically charged mystery has nonetheless continued to develop such a following among booksellers that Melville House has decided to re- release it in a stunning new package.

As for the story that’s earning such loyalty: it’s a whip-smart conversation between Stella, a vivacious, aspiring writer and Bohemian eco-activist, and Edward Prain, a refined connoisseur of the rare books on hand in Stella’s fusty London bookstall.

While Prain is mysteriously aloof about his background, Stella finds his insights into art more and more stimulating, until one rainy afternoon she makes a surprising discovery: Prain is the head of England’s most prestigious publishing house and a leading collector of art. And now, he would like her to come to tea at his country estate… to discuss her writing.

Stella is too intrigued to say no. Yet their cat-and-mouse game only intensifies at his sumptuous estate, where she finds herself engaged in an increasingly devilish conversation on the making of art, the selling of art, and the protection of self until Prain reveals that he knows more about her past than he has ever let on….

JOAN TAYLOR is a historian and the author of several books on ancient religious history and archeology, including the prize-winning Christians and the Holy Places and The Englishman, The Moor and the Holy City: The True Adventures of an Elizabethan Traveller. A native New Zealander and former professor of religious studies at Waikato University, she currently lives in England, where she lectures widely on religion and philosophy. This is her first novel.

“A novel of manners and of intellect, of passion and calculation, of negotiation and compromise, of winning and losing, of love and sex. Smart and sensual.”—Robert Gray, The Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vermont

“There are flashes of brilliance throughout this book, and enough suspense that it really is irresistible to keep reading.” —Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

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