The Irish Home Rule Bill unnerves many politicians in 1912. But could it be a motive for murder?
Although Dr. Alice Latimer and her MP husband, Edmund, have discussed asking Alice’s cousin Dudley to move on after an extended visit, Alice is surprised when she returns home from her work in the London slums to find their guest gone and their household reduced to Edmund’s self-centered sister, Violet, her dapper husband, Ferdie, and their baby daughter, Lucy. When Lucy is kidnapped, everyone is frantic to help the police. DI Gaines and DS Inskip are already investigating the case of a man found in a taxi with his throat slit. Inskip is anxious to keep on the taxi case because one of the suspects is an Irishman he thinks drove his former sweetheart to suicide. Even after the family receives a crude ransom note asking for an outlandish sum of money, Gaines still thinks blackmail may be involved. When Lucy is unexpectedly returned unharmed, the family would prefer to forget the whole matter, but the police have other ideas, especially when they learn that the kidnapping might be tied to their murder case. The taxicab victim turns out to be Dudley, who's found to have been a rabid Irish nationalist. A good many scandalous revelations concerning the family emerge before the case can be closed.
Eccles (Heirs and Assigns, 2015, etc.) starts out with a strong storyline and plenty of interesting characters, but her weak ending is a distinct letdown.