ALBANY by Lyre Black

ALBANY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another of Black's brisk Scottish/Victorian mystery-romances, twists with fancy-work plotting and bright surprises. Leonora Albany, 17, lives modestly with Aunt Sophia in the Scots Lowlands--until a family heirloom shunts her off on some horrid adventures. Could it be that the Albany' old sword once belonged to fabled Bonnie Prince Charlie? So it seems--according to nice, unassuming antiques-dealer Simon Donaldson. But, even more importantly: could it be that Leonora's great-grandmother (a prime twit of her time) was seduced by the aging Bonnie Prince. . . and legally, secretly married to him? If so, then Leonora is none other than the ""Queen of Scotland""--and there are some merry fantasies about marching on Edinburgh, with Simon's Italian patron, the delightful Barone Lodovico do Vigliano, joining in. Much more realistic, however, are Leonora's claims to the title and estate of Countess of Glenalban. So, with a kind invitation from Lady Resina Lochinver (aunt of the current, nasty Earl), Leonora traipses off to the Glenalban manse--a mistake, of course. In the absence of nice old Lady Lochinver, Leonora is popped into a barred room; absolutely no one--the chilly Earl, his sisters stern Laesae and gentle Flora, a miserable chaplain--will believe her story. Then she's rescued by kind Lord Avington, only to be incarcerated--possibly forever!--in an insane asylum as ""Mary Smith."" And there'll be another rescue, a marriage aborted at church steps, three suitors at Glenalban, and two murders. . . before Leonora and her Aunt Sophia escape from a gun-barrel showdown to safety. In all--good fun.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's