The first in Dean's promising new historical mystery series, set in 1805, features Miss Dido Kent, an unmarried woman with a penchant for solving crimes. The picturesque country manor where the crime takes place transports readers
to another era, where appearances are of the upmost importance and family secrets are hidden with care. This is a well-written, multilayered mystery that unravels nicely, with attention paid to even the smallest details.
The engagement party of Mr. Richard Montague, the son of a wealthy family, and his fiancee, Catherine, is under way. But when a mysterious man with a secret message approaches Montague, he promptly breaks his engagement, leaving his her devastated. Catherine summons her spinster aunt Dido Kent to Bellfield Hall to help solve her fiance's disappearance.
Soon after Dido arrives, a young woman's body is found in the shrubbery. Does her death relate to Montague? Dido delves into the Montague family's past to discover what would drive a man from his family's estate and the woman he loves. (MINOTAUR, Feb., 304 pp., $23.99)