Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Captain Lacey #16
Publication Date: 9/20/22
Period: Regency (1820)
Number of Pages: 314
Goodness, it has been a long dry spell since we’ve had a new Captain Lacey to read – almost two years – 1 year and 10 months actually – but who is counting? The Regency period was much more formal in thought, speech, dress, and actions, and I love how this author holds true to that without the story feeling overly formal or stilted. She really does an outstanding job of conveying the feel of the time without making us feel all prim and starched. This author also writes a great mystery and she’s outdone herself again.
Captain Lacey’s good friend Mr. Grenville has rented a villa in Italy for himself and his family, and he has graciously invited Captain Lacey and his family to join them. The plan is for them all to stay at the villa for a while and then Lacey and Grenville will head south to view the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum since the ladies aren’t interested in ruins.
Poor Lacey – he never met a mystery he didn’t want to solve or a person he didn’t want to help. That, of course, always gets him entangled in many troubles. So, that is what happened during their stop-over in Rome. Lacy saw someone he thought he knew, got lost in the backstreets while he was pursuing the man, and then ran smack-dab into another man. Whew! The man he runs into gets Lacey embroiled in his family affairs and the man he thought he knew – well – that man has been dead for over a year. Welcome to Rome Captain Lacey! As if that isn’t enough, Lacey is supposed to make a purchase for Mr. Denis – a major crime boss in London. Whew – again! Things are already so busy you wonder if they’ll ever get to even see the ruins. They do.
There are attempts on Lacey’s life, a man is murdered, the domestic situation still isn’t under control, and everyone keeps wanting Lacey to help them. Danger abounds and Lacey, Brewster, and Grenville are all placed in grave danger at one time or another. Can Lacey figure it all out before someone murders him? Where did all of those antiquities at the murdered man’s house come from? Who was the man he thought he knew? What does a deaf man have to do with any of it?
This was such an interesting and exciting story that I read it all the way through in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. You’ll never guess who the murderer is – nor why? It is a tightly woven mystery with many threads to pull and pulling only one thread won’t get you all of the answers.
I highly recommend this book, this author, and this series. It was lovely to visit with all of the series regulars as well – especially Brewster because he always tickles me with his grumbling about Lacey. Yes, it was an exciting, fun read, and I sincerely hope you’ll give the book a read and love it as much as I did. I also sincerely hope it won’t be two years before we get the next book.