A female investigator agrees to help a nobleman who fears his father might have been murdered.
Cassandra Benton is an essential part of her twin brother Charles’ success as a Bow Street Runner. George, Lord Northbrook, has hired them to help solve a perplexing mystery. Forty years earlier, George’s father, the Duke of Ardmore, entered into a financial pact with 10 friends; each member contributed an equal sum to a pool of investment funds, and the last one alive will inherit the entire amount. However, three men in the pact have died under suspicious circumstances in the past year. When Cass’ brother breaks his leg and can no longer work, Cass feels the weight of responsibility for keeping the family afloat. Fearing for his father’s life, George agrees that Cass should continue to work on the case alone. He hatches a plot to pass her off as a cousin, allowing her entrance to the ton where they can quietly investigate which of the remaining members might have a motive to commit murder. Romain (Lady Rogue, 2018, etc.) deftly weaves together the romance and mystery plots in this pleasing, enjoyable novel. Both characters grapple with dilemmas of family and identity. George focuses on scientific experiments as a distraction from his parents’ addictions. Of particular note, Cass’ character arc is carefully crafted, believable, and wholly feminist. No longer content with a pattern of “saving” her brother and putting men first, Cass is determined to focus on her own goals, needs, and happiness. Although they are from different classes, George can’t help but be attracted to a woman as competent and self-assured as Cass, but can she keep her newfound independence while entangled in a romantic relationship with George?
A refreshing historical romance featuring a partnership between equals.