Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Atlas Catesby #3
Publication Date: 12/10/19
Number of Pages: 283
This is a very well-written, well-plotted, page-turning, adventurous romance and mystery with wonderfully well-developed characters. There are twists and turns aplenty and you are always wondering – right to the end. You will think you know who the villain is – but, you can’t be sure. My only complaint is that is has been over a year-and-a-half since the last book. I definitely hope we don’t have to wait that long for the next book.
Solving the murder of Mrs. Wendela Pike turns out to be bittersweet for Atlas Catesby. If you read the earlier books, you are aware that Atlas has been haunted by the murder of his sister, Phoebe. Twenty years ago, her husband pushed her down the stairs and eleven-year-old Atlas, who was in the house at the time, was sure it was a deliberate act. Now, that same husband, Malcolm Lennox, the Marquess of Vessey, is involved in another murder. You see, Mrs. Pike is the long-time mistress of the Marquess. Atlas would love for the Marquess to be guilty – but – that would hurt his nephew Nicholas, and Atlas is only just getting to know him – so – bittersweet.
There are actually several suspects – the Marquess had several children with Mrs. Pike, could it be one of them? Then, there is the vicar who says he was betrothed to Mrs. Pike – could he have done it? Was she involved with someone besides the Marquess? Could it be Atlas’ nephew, Nicholas, who murdered her? Then, of course, there is the Marquess himself. Yes, there are lots of twists and turns and more suspects than you can shake a stick at. Just buckle your seatbelt and hang on for the ride.
Atlas is still, of course, besotted with Lilliana and their romance is softly and unobtrusively woven within the mystery. As always, Lilliana helps with the solutions and constantly confounds Atlas by insisting on going places he doesn’t want her to be. It is too bad Atlas is still feeling that he, the fourth son of a baron, isn’t good enough for the daughter and sister of a duke. He probably just needs a big shock to get him moving – maybe he’ll get it.
It was fun visiting with all of the returning characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Jaimie and it was nice to see how he’s growing and adapting as Atlas’s Valet. Of course, we couldn’t have a book without Atlas’s best friend, the Earl of Charlton and Lilliana’s brother, the Duke of Somerville.
I can definitely recommend this book and this series. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.