Select Page

Time is flying and what with the words for Book Three flowing like a river and a bug that laid me low for a few weeks, I apologise for my lack of blogging and social media, in general. However, to make up for it, here’s a little treat.

As we all know, not every word of every draft makes the final edit. In The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy one of these deleted scenes was a conversation between Perdita and Kit which I loved. I was sad to lose it but understood the reasons (and the word count) why. Instead, I’d like to share it with you now. There are no spoilers, it’s purely a daft exchange between them as they delve into the secrets of the past.

The theory is one I was told by the wonderful Caroline Bullough who I met when we were both guests at the wedding of our mutual friend, Bethan to the lovely Rob.

Bethan and Rob Hyatt

It was a gorgeous weekend and Caroline’s explanation of her theory made me giggle. When she discovered my profession, she asked if I would be able to use her theory. Even as she was explaining it, I knew it would be an ideal scenario for Kit to regale to Perdita.

I hope you enjoy it.



The Cornichon Effect

An outtake from The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy
by Alexandra Walsh

“It’s The Cornichon Effect,” said Kit, casting a mischievous glance at Perdita.

“The what?” she asked in confusion.

“The Cornichon Effect: a strange phenomena that occurs when something new is pointed out to you, then you see it everywhere go. It’s a theory I developed some years ago.”

“Enlighten me,” laughed Perdita.

“When I at university and far less sophisticated than the suave man-about-town you know and love,” began Kit, Perdita grinned, “I was at a rather dreadful cocktail party, when a young lady who was really quite pretty asked if I would pass her the cornichons.”

Perdita shook her head in mock despair but Kit continued, undeterred.

“Until that point, I’d lived a sheltered life and had no idea what she was talking about. Panicking, because up until then my rubbish chat-up lines had been working a treat, I knew if I got this wrong, she would see me for the unsophisticated fool my brother and sister had always assured me I was. In front of me were three dishes: one held olives, another was filled with small gherkins and a third contained anchovy fillets. Which one could it be? I was a sweating nervous wreck – did the fish have a posh alternative name?”


“Boquerones,” supplied Perdita. Kit nodded, wisely.

“Did olives? In the end, I took a deep breath and guessed at the gherkins. She smiled and took one. I was triumphant, I also knew what cornichons were. Sadly, she took the dish from me and walked off to find her boyfriend.”

Perdita laughed.

“However,” Kit continued, “for months after that incident, everywhere I turned, there were cornichons and references to cornichons. Previously, I’d never known of their existence but now, the world was full of cornichons and this is my patented theory, The Cornichon Effect. Once something unusual is pointed out, you tend to find that word or item everywhere you turn. It’s as though the Universe has brought it to your attention for a reason and will keep bashing you over the head with it until you take notice. It’s the same with us and mermaids. Everywhere we turn we find another reference, yet six months ago, I doubt either of us had given them much thought.”

Kit folded his arms and sat back, with a satisfied expression on his face.

“It’s good to know a university education wasn’t wasted on you, Kit,” laughed Perdita. “Although, I do like it. The Cornichon Effect is a very interesting and promising theory Dr Mackensie.”

“Why thank you, Dr Rivers.”

Thanks to Bethan, Rob and Caroline for Kit’s outlandish theory. xx