1907 Manhattan and Philomena Amesbury, Dowager Countess of Dunbridge is drawn into investigating the death of the heir to a financial empire.
As a fan of historical mysteries, I was really looking forward to reading this. The writing transports the reader back to a dynamic Manhattan social scene at the beginning of the twentieth century. The mystery itself was very intriguing as were many of the hints, red-herrings, and sub-plots. That being said, because the plot is so packed with various sub-plots…none of which were fully fleshed out…I found it very hard to concentrate on the main story.
I did fall in love with Preswick and Lily. Preswick is the model of a stodgy British butler who is anything but. And Lily is a mystery waiting to be solved. I would have liked to have seen more of their relationship. I would also have liked to see them working to find information rather than hearing them recited what they found back to Phil. Detective Inspector John Atkins is a very appealing and intriguing character. He has intelligence, and an acerbic wit that I enjoyed. There is more to him than meets the eye and I would love to know more of his backstory. Phil is a very modern woman for her time, but I found it very hard to connect with her. The mysterious Mr. X proved more of a distraction than anything, more of a means of adding “romance” to the story.
My thanks to Edelweiss and Forge Books for the advance reader copy made available for my review.