The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This novel is the first in a promised series and promises well. Author, Kate Saunders, has managed to find a new heroine and a new way of allowing her to work as an investigator. This is a Victorian hist-myst and an original.
Middle aged Laetitia Rodd, recently bereaved and now the impoverished widow of her dearly beloved Archdeacon, finds herself in a financial pickle because the Archdeacon never got round to making out an annuity for her. She is scraping along in unfashionable Hampstead but her life is enlivened by her brother. He is a highly acclaimed criminal barrister and he uses his sister to find out little details which will help him win his cases. When Sir James asks for help in proving that the woman his heir claims to love and wants to marry is totally unsuitable, brother Frederick knows just the person for the job. Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire disguised as a 'finishing' governess and the fun begins.
Of course there is a murder and Scotland Yard enter in the form of a stolid inspector who does not approve of Mrs Rodd's meddling. But the plot twists and turns and Laetitia ends up being rescued by the inspector in Antwerp.
This is not a grim read, Mrs Rodd has a sense of humour and the story gallops along at a good pace. Anyone seeking something new in historical mysteries will be delighted with this one. Mrs Rodd is no carbon copy Miss Marples nor is the book an imitation Anne Perry. She is an original and the novel is a pleasant read.
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