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A bookseller in Victorian London leads a sub rosa life as a sleuth.

Georgia Fenchurch is a member of the Archivist Society, a secret group of investigators with varied skills and backgrounds. Having already helped crack one case (The Vanishing Thief, 2013), she’d dearly love to solve a far more important mystery: the murder of her parents. While she’s waiting for a lead in this case of a lifetime, murder continues to stalk the eminent Victorians. A woman named Clara Gattenger, who's the cousin of Georgia's friend Lady Phyllida Monthalf, has been killed in her own home. The blueprints for an important new battleship designed by her husband, Kenneth, have disappeared, and he’s been arrested for his wife's murder. The Duke of Blackford, who’s aiding the government, enlists the help of the society. Lady Phyllida, who's painfully shy, is willing to endure a return to society life to avenge Clara and prove Kenneth innocent. Georgia agrees to pose as her widowed relative Georgina Monthalf, recently returned from abroad. Accordingly, Lady Phyllida and Georgia set up house, complete with new wardrobes so they can travel in the upper-class circles of the suspects, who range from rival shipbuilding companies to society ladies. The duke and Georgia, already intensely attracted to each other, easily set up a flirtation as they try to prise secrets out of a German baron they suspect of arranging the theft of the blueprints. During a house party in the country attended by the whole group, another murder raises the stakes.

A decorous period background, a plucky heroine, a darkly handsome romantic hero and enough suspects to keep you guessing.

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-425-26661-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014


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