A rising Regency star proves herself to be as talented as she is prolific, wrapping up a compelling romance inside a nifty mystery.

He was the most hated man in the county, and now he is dead. But who had been angry enough to murder a peer of the realm? In spite of the deceased earls rapacious behavior to all and sundry, his brother and heir James is determined to learn the truth about his siblings demise.

It will not be easy. Perhaps his beautiful neighbor, the widowed Mary, Lady Northrup, can help, if only he can trust a lady of such dubious reputation. Just how much of the local gossip is true?

Someone, however, will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out, including more murder. Can Mary and James catch the killer before the killer catches them?

Although the mystery sometimes overpowers the development of the romance, Ms. Lane weaves a complicated web that sparkles with clever plotting, an appealingly intrepid heroine and chilling suspense. (Jan., 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer