Barbara’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #4
Publication Date: 11/24/20
Number of Pages: 304
*** 3.5 Stars ***
Historical Mysteries are my favorite sub-genre and I am always looking for new-to-me authors and series to love. I found this series and wanted to give it a try even though I was coming into the series on the 4th book rather than starting at the beginning. This book can easily be read as a standalone and I don’t feel I missed much by not reading the first three books. I can also say that this book didn’t entice me to go back and read the first three books.
Rosalind Thorne, daughter of Baronet Sir Reginald Thorne, who is/was a forger, has lived in very reduced circumstances for the last several years. She has survived and supported herself by becoming ‘A Useful Woman’ in society. Basically, she helps ladies out of tangled situations. As she prepares to leave London for a two-fold mission – to help her friend Louisa Winterbourne prepare for her wedding – and to see if her former relationship with Devon, Duke of Casselmaine is still as warm as it once was. She wonders if she can leave all she has created for herself in London for the quiet country life of a duchess. Of course, decisions can never be simple, so a letter from Helen Corbyn arrives, asking Rosalind to help unravel the mystery of her brother’s death while she is visiting Louisa and Devon.
There are a great many secrets held within several families as well as family animosities and feuds. With suspects galore, Rosalind may not escape before a murder ends her life as well. Twisted and tangled relationships nestled within political issues of the time make Rosalind’s inquiries particularly perilous.
I am not a fan of love triangles and this series seems to have had one during the previous three books. It doesn’t appear that any of the relationships were secret and each of the men knew about the other, so I guess that is good. I believe this book was to ‘settle’ the triangle – and I suppose it did in that Rosalind made a choice to decline one of them for anything beyond friendship. However, it didn’t appear to me that she actually chose the other. Frankly, I like more romance in my mysteries that this one had – it was lukewarm at best.
Overall, it was a good mystery, but it was slower paced than I usually like, and without an active romance to shore it up, it fell flat for me. The author threw a lot of historical ‘facts’ at us about life during the period, but I’m not sure how much of it was totally accurate. For instance, Adam Harkness, Principal Investigator at Bow Street would not have been wearing a red vest. The Bow Street Horse Patrol was the only one who wore the red vests. Others at Bow Street wore regular clothing. I am happy to have read the story and to have met Rosalind, Devon, and Adam, but I wouldn’t re-read the book – nor am I sure that it enticed me to try the next book when it comes out.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.