A pair of married sleuths find their lives disrupted by murder and misdeeds in 1820.
Lucy, Lady Kurland, has not recovered physically or mentally from the two miscarriages she’s suffered in the past six months. Her husband, Sir Robert, who still has ongoing pain from an equestrian mishap at Waterloo, is never easy to deal with, and Lucy fears that her inability to provide an heir is the reason he has not sought her sexual favors. When Lucy receives a poison-pen letter, she’s deeply disturbed; when more people receive similar letters, they become a riddle she hopes to solve. But not before a more important riddle: the murder of Miss Broomfield, the woman who was hired at the last minute to teach in the village school the Kurlands endow. A visit to the school convinces Lucy that Miss Broomfield is not at all suited to teach young children. She not only seems to dislike them, but also displays a religious mania for sulfur and brimstone that makes Lucy wonder if she’s the poison pen. The woman was killed by being stabbed with a long hat pin; there was also a quill pen stuck in her eye. Inquiries reveal that Miss Broomfield was dismissed from her prior job and that she may have come from a wealthy background, if indeed all the valuable jewelry Lucy finds at the schoolhouse is legally hers. Robert, who serves as the local magistrate, is not eager for his fragile wife to become involved in another investigation (Death Comes to Kurland Hall, 2015, etc.), but he also knows that strong-minded Lucy doesn’t always heed his advice.
A romance of married life intertwined with a murder puzzle featuring a heroine suitable for a Jane Austen novel.