The Prince of Wales, aka Prinny, is in a tither. He believes someone is trying to kill him and wants his good friend George "Beau" Brummell to come and help him, so Beau and his Siamese cat Chakkri go off for a royal visit.

To ensure his safety, Prinny has hired the obnoxious Sir Simon to be the royal taster. When Lord Petersham offers Prinny some of his new blend of snuff, Sir Simon, as royal taster, takes the first sniff—and promptly drops dead. Prinny is panicked and the police are called in. Much against Bow Street's wishes, Beau decides to investigate and soon finds his own dandified self falling under suspicion.

Rosemary Stevens brings the essence of the Regency era, as well the personality of Beau Brummell, to sparkling life in THE TAINTED SNUFF BOX. This is a delightful story with a well-plotted puzzle. Readers will be charmed by this tale of manners and murder. (May, 304 pp., $6.99) Hardcover published May 2001.

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg