Series: Lily Adler Mystery #2
Publication Date: 7/13/21
Period: Regency London
Number of Pages:352
After reading his author’s debut novel, The Body in the Garden, I was anxious to read this second book. I loved the mystery in that book but didn’t care for the main characters, so I was anxious to see how they might come across in this book. I’m glad I decided to give them another try because I really liked both of them this time around.
The mystery in this book is excellent with lots of red herrings, a plethora of suspects, plenty of outside characters to cause strife, and plenty of friends willing to go out of their way to help. Lily’s friend, Ofelia, whom we met in the last book, is back from her honeymoon and extends a helping hand as well.
Mrs. Lily Adler has settled nicely into her new home in London. She’s reconnected with old friends and made some new ones – so all is right with her world. Well, it was until she arrives home to discover the entryway filled with baggage belonging to her estranged father. Lily has never been able to please her father – he thinks she is mannish, unladylike, forward, and whatever other negative adjectives there are. He just walks in and takes over her home, finding fault with everything and freely expressing his negative views of her. She should turn him out, but – well – he is her father and she can’t quite do it. Her father’s purpose in visiting London, which he hates, is because of his health. (NOTE: He saw his doctor, but there was never any mention of the results of the visit. We don’t know anything because he never mentioned it and Lily never asked. It just seems to me that a parent’s health – especially when that parent traveled days to visit a town he hates – would at least rate a question or comment.)
One of the social courtesies of that period is to pay a social call on newlywed friends and Lily’s father’s good friend, Sir Charles, falls into that category. To placate her father, Lily undertakes the visit for him even though she doesn’t know the new Lady Wyatt. Lily and Captain Jack Hartley have a nice visit with Lady Wyatt and agree to a ride in the park the following morning. When Lily and Jack arrive, the house is in turmoil because Sir Charles has died. Well, not just died – according to Bow Street’s principal officer, Mr. Page, it was murder. The family is sure that it was an accident, but Lily has uncovered the murder weapon before they leave.
Though he hates the idea, Mr. Page asks Lily and Jack to aid him in the investigation. Of course, Lily would have been in the middle of it whether Mr. Page had asked or not – and Jack is going to be right there with Lily. As they uncover more evidence, it seems it is quickly discounted. Then, when another death occurs, they have to wonder who else might be in danger. Jack, Lily, Mr. Page, and several friends follow leads that get them nowhere, but the evidence is mounting. How can they prove who the murderer is even after they figure it out? Chicanery perhaps?
The mystery was outstanding! It was everything you’d want in a mystery — well-written, excellently paced, exciting, and perplexing. I can highly recommend the book. For me personally, I’m on hold about whether I’ll continue with the series. It is a personal thing – I have to have a good romance to go along with a good mystery. I had assumed Jack and Lily would have a relationship – and I still think that will be the case. However, a new male was introduced into this book and has an interest in Lily – and she seems to have a bit of an interest in him. I won’t read love triangles – and I really like Jack – so, I’ll see where the next book goes before I decide whether I’ll continue with the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.