A gentleman traveler with a secret wound gallantly rescues a lady and uncovers the truth of a murder in Regency London.
This is the mystery debut of author Quincy, though she has written romances as Diana Quincy (From London with Love, 2017, etc.). Stopping at a rustic inn, Atlas Catesby and his friend the Earl of Charlton are appalled at the barbaric sight in the yard: local merchant Godfrey Warwick is offering to sell his wife to the highest bidder. Her fine features and aristocratic bearing belie his slander, and Atlas cannot help but pay handsomely to protect her from the jeering crowd. The rescued Lilliana Warwick flees Catesby’s protection to return home to her young sons, but her husband has the local magistrate threaten her with jail if she disregards his paternal authority. Stymied, Catesby takes Lilliana to the Bloomsbury home of his sister, amateur mathematician Thea Palmer. Suddenly deciding to reassert his claim on Lilliana, Warwick threatens to sully her reputation and Catesby’s if she doesn’t return. Fortunately, Warwick is dead by the next morning; unfortunately, Catesby is the prime suspect. To clear his name, he delves into Warwick’s sordid affairs and finds gratifying layers of blackmail and abuse. An attempt on Lilliana’s life renders the case both more complicated and more urgent but draws Catesby even closer to her and to the truth.
Dashing and enjoyably melodramatic.