Three-and-a-half years ago when I read this author’s debut book, I had no idea I was discovering both a new favorite author and a new favorite series. We’re four books in now, and the writing quality is still excellent as is the quality and complexity of the mystery, and that doesn’t even mention the wonderful romance.
Lyndy and Stella are finally off on their honeymoon and they have chosen York as their destination. They are so excited to begin their new life together and can hardly wait to arrive at the Majestic Hotel in York where they have reserved the honeymoon suite. Only, when they try to check in, they find someone else is already in the honeymoon suite. They’ve had the reservations made for weeks – how can that be? The hotel manager offers them the Royal Suite instead, but Lyndy nor Stella is happy about that – and they confront the man in the room. The man, Horace Wingrove, will not budge and informs them that they can have the room starting tomorrow night. That, of course, doesn’t happen because a maid discovers the man’s body when she opens the room to clean it the next morning. He was an old and frail man; did he just die naturally in his sleep? If it wasn’t natural – was he the intended victim or was it Lyndy and Stella because they were supposed to be in the room?
Another hotel guest, Dr. Bertram Bell, is summoned to the room and quickly says the death was accidental asphyxia (carbon monoxide poisoning from the grate). The hotel, concerned about its reputation if the death was their fault, calls the police. When Detective Sergeant Thomas Glenshaw arrives, he sees no reason to rule it murder and is happy enough to rule it accidental – though they will investigate a bit further. DS Glenshaw is very unhappy to have been called out for such a minor thing – he should be totally focusing on the plans and security for the unveiling of the statue in honor of the late Queen Victoria that is being unveiled at the Guildhall.
Stella knows she should just forget about it and let DS Glenshaw handle it, but there are some things that niggle at her – and she just cannot sit back when she’s puzzled, she has to solve it. To add to her initial concerns, there are strange people who demand to speak with them, strange whispers in the hallway, hotel employees who seem to be tainted, and the victim’s heir, Morgan Amesbury-Jones, who seems as perplexed as everyone else. Nobody knows why Mr.Wingrove was even at the hotel because the reason he gave isn’t really why he was there.
Lyndy just wants to get on with their honeymoon, but Stella can’t curb her voracious curiosity. Lyndy knows that Stella’s intuition is rarely wrong and goes along with her. Can they solve Mr. Wingrove’s murder? Oh! And did I mention there are more murders, more attacks, and even a bombing? Yes! This book is filled with non-stop excitement and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. There are murderer(s), anti-Royalists, disgruntled employees, thieves, happy reunions, and romance all in one book. Will Stella and Lyndy survive to solve the crime and finally get back to their honeymoon? Oh! You’ll just have to read this fast-paced, excellently plotted, and well-written story to find out. I hope you’ll read it and love Stella and Lyndy as much as I do. BTW, you can read this as a standalone book if you haven’t read the first three. There is enough background dribbled into it to get the gist of the series so far. However, to REALLY understand Stella – an American – and how she came to be betrothed to an English viscount, you really need to read at least the first book in the series. Happy reading!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.