THE MASTERFUL MR. MONTAGUE
If Amanda Quick-style historical mysteries are your guilty pleasure, then this latest Barnaby Adair adventure — filled with murder, secrets, red herrings and danger — will be your cup of tea. Readers will not find the high degree of sexual tension and depth of characterization in most Laurens novels here — juggling three couples is a challenge and added to a mystery even more so. The intriguing aspect of this novel is that the lead characters are all members of the rising gentry, and Laurens does a fine job of showing the changes in society during the era. Those who adore Adair and crew, and recall Montague from previous novels will take pleasure in this thriller.
When her employer, Lady Halstead, discovers irregularities in her accounts, Violet Matcham seeks the city’s most respected man of business, Montague, to solve the fiscal puzzle. Lady Halstead’s case intrigues him as much as the lovely Violet. Montague is just the gallant knight Violet needs when Lady Halstead is murdered and more deaths follow. Aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes and their wives, Penelope and Griselda, they rush to unmask the killer before Violet becomes the next victim. (AVON, May, 380 pp., $7.99)