After three rounds with a new detective (A Darker God, 2010, etc.), Cleverly brings back Joe Sandilands (Folly du Jour, 2008, etc.) for the eighth time to investigate, and instigate, international intrigue in London between the wars.
Lily Wentworth is one of London’s few policewomen. Despite her blonde hair and petite stature, she walks a London beat to protect prostitutes and children. When Joe Sandilands needs a feminine partner for a special assignment, he dragoons Lily. Scotland Yard is worried for the lives of the royal family after Irish rebels murder two prominent politicians. So Lily, in borrowed finery, passes for the Prince of Wales’ new paramour while watching his back at a charitable ball for aristocratic Russian emigres. She proves herself sharp as she and Sandilands unravel the schemes of Irish assassins to find a deeper plot, and sharper still by saving Prince Edward from poisoning. The Russian aristocrats have laid a trail of red herrings for Sandilands and Lily. Does the trail lead all the way back to the execution of the Romanovs?
Stretches the bounds of historical credulity, but does so with panache. A darkly glamorous thriller.