Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.
Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life.
As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed (Goodreads, 2017).
In Book 2 of the Kendra Donovan series Kendra is still stuck in the 19th century and it’s not long till another murder investigation finds her. This time it’s even more personal as her love interest, Alec is the prime suspect.
It continues to be highly entertaining to see Kendra tackle the social niceties and boundaries of the 19th century. She may be a pro at catching criminals, but ballroom politics easily confound her.
It was also great to see Kendra deal with some of the demons that she brought back with her from the 21st century. Kendra felt like an outside her whole life due to her unorthodox upbringing as a kind of science experiment conducted by her parents. Yet she slowly comes to realize that in some ways her upbringing is actually quite standard for the aristocracy in the 19th century. So ironically though she may at times stand out like a sore thumb, Kendra is able to for once feel a sense of belonging in this strange place. She also finally gets to experience what it’s like to be part of a family thanks to the love and affection shown to her by Alec, the Duke and Rebecca.
In my opinion, the mystery in this one was more predictable than in “A Murder in Time”. However, I’m sensing a theme in this series where each murder requires a 21 century perspective, because they go against social expectations of the time in terms of the role of women, the aristocracy etc.
Overall, I give this a 4 out of 5. I’m thoroughly enjoying this series and especially the development of Alec and Kendra’s romance. I’m a sucker for happy endings so I’m desperately hoping to Kendra ultimately chooses to stay in the 19th century.
It was silly of course, but no more silly than buying a bigger house, car or ring or rare painting to show off one’s status to neighbors, friends and family”Kendra
I had never thought to see such a scene. Never thought to see people, friends, neighbors behave with such barbarism. But once you do, you realize madness can seize anyone”French seamstress
Would love to hear your thoughts. Are you a fan of historical mystery?
If you haven’t read A Murder in Time (Book 1 of the Kendra Donovan series) check out my review https://reviewsbym.com/2021/05/12/a-21st-century-profiler-hunts-down-a-19th-century-serial-killer-in-julie-mcelwains-a-murder-in-time/