A society gossipmonger murdered? Surely a case for the Mayfair 100.
London 1915. The Duchess of Penhere visits Chief Inspector Beech of Scotland Yard on a matter of grave sensitivity. Her daughter, Adeline, the society “commentator” in the London Herald, has been found hanged in her bedroom. Surely she did not kill herself. Can Beech maintain the utmost discretion in investigating this horrid crime? He calls upon the special team only recently formed (Murder in Belgravia, 2018, etc.) and led by Dr. Caroline Allardyce. The Mayfair 100, charged with investigating crimes against women, also includes Beech’s old flame Victoria Ellingham; her mother, Lady Maud; and two male members, young policeman Billy Rigsby and Yard veteran Arthur Tollman. None of the women has a high opinion of the victim, who published slanderous lies, but justice trumps opprobrium. They begin their questioning with the staff at the rooming house in “raffish” Chelsea where Adeline lived. After examining her body, Caroline determines that death occurred hours before hanging. With no dearth of suspects among the offended elite, the probe fans out in multiple directions. Beech questions Lady Maud about the Duchess; Tollman and Billy try to clarify the logistics of the crime; Caroline continues to examine the body and the murder scene for additional clues. The recent introduction of fingerprint technology narrows the field of suspects and leads ultimately to the solution, which involves another murder and a blackmail plot.
Crowded with colorful characters, Brittney’s second Mayfair 100 mystery consistently entertains.