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Kate Adrleigh is everything the Victorian English gentlewoman is not--outspoken, free-thinking, American...and a writer of the frowned upon "penny-dreadfuls."

Soon after her arrival in Essex, England, a body is unearthed in a nearby archeological dig--and Kate has the chance to not only research her latest story...but to begin her first case with amateur detective Sir Charles Sheridan.

ISBN: 9780425164358
Branch Call Number: PB MYSTERY PAI


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Jun 01, 2018

This first effort in a 12-book series that highlights turn-of-the-century British upstairs/downstairs society is a gem. I could hardly put it down, and the solution, while fitting the plot neatly, was not easily discernible. Better-written and more sophisticated than cozy mysteries, it reminds me of a British version of Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy tales.

Jun 04, 2016

Nicely written story in the Victorian mystery niche. The plot, the characters, and the atmosphere are all interesting and depicted quite well. Though maybe there is a bit much of the budding romance, which can be somewhat overdone in mysteries of this genre. I plan on trying more books in this series. But I wish it was published as a regular sized book and not in this little size.

jeanner222 Jun 28, 2013

This breezy little Victorian mystery introduces readers to Kathryn “Kate” Ardleigh. A spinster at 25, Kate lives in Manhattan and supports herself by writing “penny dreadfuls.” These lurid novels are quite frowned upon, but they are also very much in demand.

Everything changes for Kate when she is summoned to England by an aunt she doesn’t know. Aunt Sabrina needs a secretary, and it is thought that Kate needs a job, since her writing gig is a secret. So, Kate embraces the opportunity to travel, as England is sure to inspire the writer in her.

Shortly after she arrives, a dead body is found at a neighboring manor, and the sleuthing begins! A secret society, an unhappy household staff, and a particularly bitter relationship between Aunt Sabrina and her sister all add to the intrigue of Kate’s new situation.

Of course, Kate is a rather capable sleuth. While investigating, she teams up with the appealing Sir Charles Sheridan. This leads to innocent flirting and a partnership that is sure to continue throughout this mystery series.

It starts out a bit wobbly, but soon picks up steam and keeps the reader asking for more. Great beach read!

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