A bluestocking proves her worth as a detective in a hunt for Jack the Ripper.
Felicity Carrol is a wealthy young woman with several degrees and a passion for crime solving. When she receives a letter from the mother of her friend Inspector Jackson Davies, asking her to come visit him as "a matter of life and death," Felicity rushes to his side. Although he had initially ignored her when they met during her first case (Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit, 2019), Jackson soon came to rely on her scientific knowledge. Now Jackson is worn down with overwork and angst over the unsolved Whitechapel murders, and his health has worsened since he read an article about a seemingly identical murder in Placer, Montana. Determined to help him, Felicity sets off for Montana with her friend and servant Helen Wilkins to determine whether the Ripper has relocated to the United States. Money greases her way and allows her to buy a house in Placer as her base. Stepping off the stagecoach, she meets good-looking sheriff Tom Pike and informs him she’s there to investigate the murder of Lily Rawlins. When Pike reluctantly agrees to talk to her, she tells him she plans to write a book of detective fiction using the horrifying crime as the basis. He doubts her story but gives her information and an area tour. When another prostitute is found badly mutilated, Felicity resolves to learn as much as possible, even bribing the undertaker to let her examine the body. Felicity and Pike are undeniably attracted to each other, and although he still doesn’t like her sleuthing, he admits that she does turn up some helpful clues. Pike suspects two men who are blackmailing prostitutes and also suspects anyone, like the butcher, who’s handy with a knife. Felicity, certain that the culprit is someone with medical knowledge, suspects a local doctor. As more murders follow, a frustrated Felicity risks her own life to unmask a mad killer.
This colorful, action-filled mystery presents a novel twist in the continuing search for the identity of England’s most notorious murderer.