Trigger Warning: somewhat graphic description of a murder scene, violence
When Kendra Donovan is approached by Mrs. Gavenston with an unusual request―to find her business manager, Jeremy Pascoe, who recently vanished―the FBI agent is eager to accept the challenge. To Kendra’s way of thinking, spending her time locating a missing person suits her more than perfecting her embroidery, painting watercolors, practicing on the pianoforte, or any of the other activities that are socially acceptable for young ladies in the early nineteenth century.
Unfortunately, the missing person’s case turns into a murder investigation after Kendra finds the man stabbed to death in a remote cottage that he’d been using as a writer’s retreat. Everyone who knew him says that Pascoe was a fine fellow. So who hated him enough to kill him?
Seeking the answer to that question plunges Kendra into the world of big business, as Mrs. Gavenston happens to run one of the largest breweries in England. And if there is one thing Kendra knows hasn’t changed, it’s that big business means big money . . . and money is always a motive for murder.
While Kendra works to sift through the truth and lies swirling around Mr. Pascoe’s life―and death―her world is rocked closer to home when a woman arrives claiming to be the Duke of Aldridge’s presumably dead daughter, Charlotte. It is a distraction Kendra cannot afford, not when there is a killer lurking in the shadows who will do anything to keep the truth from being exposed (Goodreads, 2020).
Things I Enjoyed: I felt like this was the best book of this series so far. Both mysteries in this book kept me fully engaged and I found that I was actually unable to figure out the culprit in either case. Definitely not a predictable book.
This book also felt more raw than the rest. Once again a case was personal for Kendra and at the same time it laid bare all the insecurities that Kendra has been trying to bury throughout the course of the series.
I was glad to see that some romance finally found Lady Rebecca. A woman like her deserves some happiness and I’m curious to see how things go for her and her unlikely love interest.
And of course, I’m rooting for Kendra and Alec. I loved how things ended for them in this book and can’t wait to see what Julie McElwain has in store for them in the next one.
Things I Didn’t Enjoy/Found Confusing/ Would Have Changed: I kind of wish Kendra underwent some more character growth in the series. Jealousy doesn’t look good on anyone and it is also long past time for her to stop whining about being stuck in the 19th century.
Overall Thoughts: This is my favorite of the series. It is perfect for lovers of historical fiction and mystery. This was a 4 out of 5 star read for me.
Quotes I Enjoyed:
Technology advanced with time. Human behavior not so much”