Intrigue, romance and the rich details of Victorian life are the focus in the fourth installment of this mystery series featuring a complex female detective.
As the book opens, heroine Mary Quinn is living a life she could not have imagined in her earlier years. She is independent and beginning a detective agency with her fiance, James Easton, who would like to marry soon. Her sense of gratitude causes her to take one more case for the Agency, where she learned her trade. Mary’s skills have become formidable, but the ruthless criminal she agrees to track threatens to unravel the future the young couple has planned. Meanwhile, an important engineering project keeps James busy and away from Mary. In addition, a surprise appearance by a family member from China provides some answers to Mary’s questions about her father’s past. Lee successfully weaves all the threads together in this fast-paced mystery. As with the previous volumes, the elements of Victorian life are well-drawn, adding rich texture to the storytelling. The author demonstrates her expertise in the period with insight into its social mores that strengthens the narrative. Most of all, Mary Quinn and her supporting cast continue to reveal intriguing twists to a familiar setting.
Readers of the series will find this addition deeply satisfying as both a mystery and a historical romance. (Historical mystery. 12 & up)