Regency Connoisseurs will celebrate indeed when Emily Hendrickson's graceful new comedy of manners hits the bookshelves.

Lady Pamela Taylor is a very proper young lady. But someone has sent her a very improper gift. A fabulous diamond and sapphire necklace, to be exact, and not the kind of thing you can easily explain to your very conservative, very stuffy parents. After all, a lady, especially an earl's daughter, does not accept expensive offerings from even the most devoted of beaus.

It obviously is a mistake, but how can she, a demure debutante, track down the true owner of the jewels? And what if they are stolen goods? Finding out the truth could actually be dangerous.

It is with great relief that Lady Pamela turns for help to Robert, Duke of Wexford, a gentleman famed for his discerning eye and penchant for solving mysteries of all kinds. But as the unlikely detective duo set forth to unmask villains unknown, the handsome duke finds that his greatest peril lies in the lovely young lady herself.

A writer of lilting elegance, Ms. Hendrickson utterly charms us with her beguiling heroine and appealing love story. (July, 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer