The creator of Inspector Charlie Woodend (A Death Left Hanging, p. 720, etc.), who really is Alan Rustage, adopts her (or his) real name as a nom de plume for a new series set in Victorian London.
Sam Blackstone’s New Scotland Yard superiors want him to do the impossible: find out who slit young Honorable Charles Montcliffe’s throat without spoiling Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration by letting anyone outside of the immediate family know that Lord Montcliffe’s youngest son is dead. Still worse, Lord Montcliffe seems not at all sorry to have his left-leaning son out of the picture. The servants at the Montcliffe’s Park Lane mansion know better than to discuss the Family’s affairs with strangers, even those with badges. And Sir Charles’s valet, Thomas Grey, has disappeared altogether. Only Lady Emily, Charles’s sister, and her new-money fiancé, Lord William Dalton, seem inclined to cooperate, bringing him Charles’s notes for a story he was writing for The Radical. An interview with editor Archibald Scott sends him to Whitechapel in search of the shadowy aristocrat Count Turgenev. And there, in the heart of London’s Little Russia, Blackstone meets Hannah—beautiful, intelligent, and infinitely desirable—who shows the detective the way to infinite danger.
Rustage’s Blackstone is as much a maverick as Woodend, but without the moral ambiguity that complicates and enlivens Spencer’s contemporary stories.