Reading progress update: I've read 57 out of 263 pages.

On the Proper Use of Stars - Dominique Fortier, Sheila Fischman

"I must warn you, Lady Jane, this is extremely strong.

People have told me that it sometimes causes palpitations in ladies, and therefore is more appropriate for gentlemen, whose tastes it matches more closely."

Lady Jane was no longer listening. Eyes closed, she was savouring the exquisite infusion that scarcely pricked her tongue and warmed her throat delightfully.

"Dear Mr. Thompson, I should like to purchase your entire stock."


Yup. They are talking about tea. Chai to be precise. Not for the first time, either. Twinings got a bit of a roasting a couple of pages ago.

[About Lady Jane's tea broker] "It was said that he turned down more clients than he deigned to accept and that among the rejected - obviously displeased - were certain members of the royal family, condemned to sip the dull blends of Mister Twinings that had plagued their mothers and grandmothers before them."

Well, I would argue that it should be "Mister Twining" without the "s", but other than that, I can empathise with the need to stock a strong and flavoursome blend. Talking of which...