Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 12 January – Chapter 20


Phoebe found the quiet at Sotheby’s Bond Street offices unsettling this Tuesday night. Though she’d been working at the London auction house for two weeks, she was still not accustomed to the building.

Sotheby’s, founded 1744, is the second-oldest international auction house in continuous operation (or maybe the fourth?). It does approximately $2 billion in sales annually and serves as a clearing house for fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate, and collectibles.

The London office of the auction house moved to Bond Street in 1917 — and there it remains. The auction house began by selling off the great libraries of the deceased — including the library of the Earl of Pembroke. The move to Bond Street, the hub of the London art world, encouraged the owners of Sotheby’s to expand their coinnoiseurship and expertise into the realm of fine art. Sotheby’s has a history of selling Hilliard miniatures — this lovely portrait of a noblewoman sold in 2010 for 121,250 GBP.

“Where is Sylvia?” The blue eyes narrowed.

“At the ballet. Coppelia, I believe.”

The ballet Coppelia tells the story of Franz, Swanhilda, and the mysterious “daughter” of Dr. Coppelius, who is trying to animate a doll in a non-creepy way. Right. It’s presented as a comedy, but it definitely has some sinister undertones. Because Jen and I are both hopeless balletomanes, I can’t help but give you the Bolshoi’s delightful Dance of the Hours and the Act III female variation danced by Natalia Osipova.

As soon as the click sounded, Whitmore pushed his way through. He was dressed for a club in Soho, with his black jeans, vintage gray U2 t-shirt, and a ridiculous pair of high-top Converse trainers (also gray).

Today, for a change in programming, I present you with a build-your-own Marcus outfit kit.

  • A vintage U2 band tee in gray ($25) on Poshmark (likely from the ZOO tour)
  • Cait’s actual, factual no-fail black jeans ($49.97) at GAP
  • Charcoal Chuck Taylor All Star High-Tops ($43.64) on Amazon
  • Leather cord necklace ($7.49) on Amazon (teeth of yellow fever victims NOT included). You could, however, add one of these guys.

“That’s the best offer I’ve had in some time.” Whitmore’s mouth twitched. “If we’re going to proceed according to Hoyle, though, I think you should call me Marcus.”

Edmond Hoyle, 1672-1769, wrote the definitive eighteenth century rules for how to play cards. The phrase “according to Hoyle” denotes doing something according to accepted standards or rules. He wrote extensively on the laws of whist, a game you might recognize from the pages of Austen. In fact, Hoyle’s book on whist became so definitive that his name is synonymous with doing things by-the-book — his imitators put his name on rule books for games (like poker) that weren’t even invented during his lifetime.

As you well know, Phoebe and Marcus have plenty more to tell us in Time’s Convert. We won’t say more…. yet.

If you like what we do, you can support us on Patreon to off-set our podcast hosting costs. You can also join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or e-mail us at If you’re anxious for the premiere of A Discovery of Witches TV, please consider yourselves invited to our live tweet on 1/17 at 9pm. Use the hashtag #ccalchemy and make merry.

Until 18 January and Chapter 22,


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