The London season promises more than husband-hunting for an accomplished amateur sleuth.
Lucy Harrington and her lovely sister Anna are heading to London, where they hope to meet more eligible bachelors than the charming village of Kurland St. Mary can provide. Helpful as Lucy has been to Maj. Robert Kurland, who still hasn’t quite recovered from the badly broken leg he acquired at Waterloo, he doubts that she’ll find a man willing to tolerate her independent personality. Much to his dismay, Kurland himself is summoned to London, where the prince regent is awarding him a baronetcy for his heroism. Soon enough, he and Lucy are involved in another mystery that suddenly blossoms at Almack’s Assembly Rooms, a social club where the dowager Countess of Broughton—the grandmother of Lt. Broughton, the army friend Kurland is staying with—drops dead after drinking some orgeat. Broughton himself has been exhibiting symptoms of poisoning, and his younger brother has been acting strangely. Lady Bentley has accused the Broughton family of stealing some valuable rubies, and when she drowns in a boating accident and Broughton is on the scene, the mystery turns even darker. Broughton, who’s deeply interested in scientific research, deplores the herbal recipes his grandmother concocted, one of which may well have been the source of the poison that killed her and sickened him and his brother. Lucy and Kurland team up to investigate the complicated crime while pursuing their contentious relationship.
Lucy’s second case (Death Comes to the Village, 2013) is a pleasant combination of Regency romance and mystery that evokes fond memories of Georgette Heyer, even if it can’t match her charm or depth of characterization.