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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review - A Purely Private Matter

It is hard to come up with a unique book or character concept, especially for historical books.  But I think Darcie Wilde has joined the ranks of the few other authors who have succeeded in this task.  Rosalind Thorne (Rose Thorn!) is a wonderfully unique character in a unique situation to investigate the snooty haute ton of 1800s England.  

I reviewed the first book, A Useful Woman (click here), and we were honored to receive two guest posts (click here and here.)  Read on for my take on the second installment in this fascinating new series.

Author: Darcie Wilde

Copyright: May 2017 (Berkley) 384 pgs

Series: 2nd in Rosalind Thorne Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Cozy

Main Character: Rosalind Thorne, former heiress now on the outskirts of society

Setting: Early 1800s (Regency,) London 

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the cover: "Rosalind Thorne has slowly but assuredly gained a reputation as “a useful woman”—by helping respectable women out of some less-than-respectable predicaments. 

Her latest endeavor is a tragedy waiting to happen. Desperate Margaretta Seymore is with child—and her husband is receiving poisoned pen letters that imply that her condition is the result of an affair with the notorious actor Fletcher Cavendish. Margaretta asks Rosalind to find out who is behind the scurrilous letters. But before she can make any progress, Cavendish is found dead, stabbed through the heart. 

Suddenly, Rosalind is plunged into the middle of one of the most sensational murder trials London has ever seen, and her client’s husband is the prime suspect. With the help of the charming Bow Street runner Adam Harkness, she must drop the curtain on this fatal drama before any more lives are ruined."

Rosalind, as I mentioned, is a unique character in the historical setting. Beyond the murder, there is her long lost sister who Rosalind believes she has seen glimpses of around London.  Devon Winterbourne was her prior love interest when she was a full member of the haute ton but because of her now lessened circumstances she feels his continued affection is realistically out of reach.  Detective Adam Harkness appreciates Rosalind for who she truly is but because she is still somewhat a member of the upper class - theirs is a hopeless attraction.  Alice and George Littlefield, close friends and fellow former upper crust members who also feel on disastrous hard times now work (gasp) for the paper.  Alice remains a steadfast and good friend to Rosalind.  The cast of the murder suspects are murky and devious.  Well done.

The Regency era theater world is prevalent and deliciously scandalous (for that time period).  Plenty of twists and turns as everyone is hiding something of their true roles in the tableau.  The pacing, once the murder occurs, is steady and absorbing.  

The climax holds some masterful twists and the wrap-up a few surprises too.

Rich writing, complex characters, and down right good story weaving make this a top notch historical mystery.  I can't get enough of Rosalind Thorne and friends.

Rating: Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend. 

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

GREAT news!  I have finished my first cozy mystery.  I will be doing a cover reveal shortly.  The title is ICED and the series is the "Resort to Murder" mystery series.  

More details coming soon.  I will have a book launch and giveaways approaching too.  

I'm so excited.  Yay!

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