Hamilton, who writes everything from kitchen cozies (No Grater Danger, 2018, etc.) to Regency romances, combines aspects of...



An upper-class Regency lady with a finely honed sense of social responsibility must solve a murder or find herself accused.

Miss Emmeline St. Germaine lives in London at the pleasure of her brother, who keeps his town house open to her as long as she behaves. Little does he know that his sister, secretly known as the Avengeress, works with a like-minded group of friends to rescue children who are being sexually exploited by their employers and, under the sobriquet of the Rogue, writes a scandalous gossip column for radical newspaper The Prattler. Emmeline’s latest escapade involves the rescue of a very young maid just as she’s about to be raped by her employer, Sir Henry Claybourne. Unfortunately, after Emmeline escapes with the child, Sir Henry is murdered, the family silver stolen, and the unknown Avengeress blamed by the press. Emmeline, keenly aware of the danger she faces in such a male-dominated culture, reluctantly decides that only solving the murder can protect her identity. With the help of her maid, her coachman, her friends, and the owner of The Prattler, she digs into Sir Henry’s background and learns more about how the unfortunate children are delivered into the hands of their rapists. Nor can she relax among the social circle of her uncle, wealthy jurist Sir Jacob Pauling, for it includes Dr. Giles Woodforde, who’s known Emmeline since childhood and is in love with her even though she doesn’t acknowledge his devotion or trust him with her dark secrets. Nevertheless, his medical knowledge proves helpful as she scours pitiful orphanages and elite drawing rooms in her search for the truth. Her shocking discoveries will change her life forever.

Hamilton, who writes everything from kitchen cozies (No Grater Danger, 2018, etc.) to Regency romances, combines aspects of both in a much grittier new series that explores the second-class status of women, which continues to this day.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7387-5804-6

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.


Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.


Lady detective Bridie Devine searches for a missing child and finds much more than she bargained for.

Bridie Devine is no stranger to the seedy underworld of Victorian London. An accomplished detective with medical training, she sometimes helps the police by examining bodies to determine the cause of death. Bridie recently failed to find a lost child, and when she’s approached about another missing child, the daughter of Sir Edmund Berwick, she isn’t enthusiastic about taking on the case. But Christabel Berwick is no ordinary child. Sir Edmund has hidden Christabel away her whole life and wants Bridie to believe this is an ordinary kidnapping. Bridie does a little digging and learns that Christabel isn’t his daughter so much as his prized specimen. Sir Edmund believes Christabel is a “merrow,” a darker and less romanticized version of a mermaid. Bridie is skeptical, but there are reports of Christabel’s sharp teeth, color-changing eyes, and ability to drown people on dry land. Given that Bridie’s new companion is a ghost who refuses to tell her why he’s haunting her, Bridie might want to open her mind a bit. There’s a lot going on in this singular novel, and none of it pretty. Bridie’s London is soaked with mud and blood, and her past is nightmarish at best. Kidd (Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, 2018, etc.) is an expert at setting a supernatural mood perfect for ghosts and merrows, but her human villains make them seem mundane by comparison. With so much detail and so many clever, Dickensian characters, readers might petition Kidd to give Bridie her own series.

Creepy, violent, and propulsive; a standout gothic mystery.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-2128-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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