An aristocratic sleuth takes on a highly unusual case.
Invited with her husband, Colin, to a masquerade ball at Devonshire House in honor of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, Lady Emily Hargreaves dresses as Artemis. So does another one of the guests. Emily’s friend Cécile du Lac has been told the second Artemis is her old friend Estella Lamar, who’s been traveling the world for years. When she approaches her, however, Cécile realizes that the woman is an impostor who flees, only to be found murdered. Who was the intended victim, the impostor or Estella? Taking on the case, the dashing Hargreaves duo travel to Paris trying to track down Estella, who occasionally sends missives to the lawyer who handles her money. But she’s been seen only in blurry pictures from all over the globe. Estella maintains several houses, each run as if she may return at any moment, but Emily begins to wonder if the elusive heiress is even alive. A mysterious auburn-haired man warns them off with ever escalating threats as they try to follow the money trail to locate Estella. Although they’re trying to unmask a murderer, Estella’s disappearance is so compelling that it becomes their primary focus and leads them through miles of underground Parisian tunnels and into the famous Père-Lachaise Cemetery before they discover the bizarre truth.
One of Lady Emily’s most interesting cases (Behind the Shattered Glass, 2013, etc.). The Victorian detail enhances the difficulties of proving someone dead or alive and discovering a killer with none of the usual motives for murder.