With a young daughter to support and an absent struggling artist for a husband, affluence-raised Penelope Wolfe is forced to seek a living as genteel companion to Lady Ashe. When the Ashe households footman is murdered, Penelope cant resist turning her sharp mind to ferret out the cause. Together with her friend, Bow Street Runner John Chase, clues are uncovered, revealing dark family secrets, political conspiracies, and a prophetess who has attracted a large following on the eve of the Millennium.
The sights, sounds, and smells of Regency London streets, markets, parks, famous buildings and neighborhoods are vividly illustrated. The period speech patterns ring true. Notable is Rizzolos portrayal of the wide gulf between the rich and poor, the powerful and the weak. The views of treasonous Jacobins become important plot points. The unrest of the Luddites, smashing new machinery in the Northern mills, is highlighted in a stirring speech by Lord Byron in the House of Lords: Never under the most despotic of infidel governments did I behold such squalid wretchedness as I have seen since my return in the very heart of a Christian country. The action segues somewhat abruptly between past and present, however, leaving the reader to wonder what is going on, when and where.
Short Authors Note explaining historical accuracy is included. This is the second book in this series featuring Penelope Wolfe.
Note our reviews of other Regency England books by Stephanie Barron, Carrie Bebris, and Madelaine Robins