A murder among the English gentility once again challenges the inquisitive prowess of Miss Dido Kent (Bellfield Hall, 2010, etc.).
Dido is residing in the fashionable town of Richmond with her cousin, Mrs. Flora Beaumont, when the ladies learn that the charming, eligible bachelor Mr. Lansdale has finally come into his fortune on the death of his invalid aunt. This happy occasion is disrupted by the vicious gossip of Mrs. Midgely, a neighbor who insinuates that Mrs. Lansdale was murdered. Certainly Dido considers the circumstances strange. She notes the death of the victim’s little lap dog and a puzzling burglary through a window broken from the inside. When Mrs. Midgely prevails upon the local apothecary to bring the case to the magistrates, Dido gives in to her natural curiosity. By paying visits, eavesdropping in shops and attending to the subtleties of parlor games, Dido aspires to defend Mr. Lansdale’s innocence. She is assisted in her endeavors by Mr. William Lomax, with whom she hopes to share mutual affection. As the plot thickens, Dido begins to doubt Mr. Lansdale’s innocence, and Mr. Lomax presumes to entreat Dido to cease her investigations for her own safety. In the end, however, she manages to untangle the mystery and preserve justice, all while remaining the soul of discretion.
Delightful. The clever puzzle and pitch-perfect Regency prose will charm readers.