As Hester and William Monk adjust to married life, they continue their careers. Hester works for nursing reform while Monk continues his private investigatory work. His new case is a baffling missing person investigation.

Young Lucius Stourbridge has asked him to find his missing fiancie, Miriam. At a fete thrown by the elder Stourbridges, Miriam took flight and vanished. Neither she, nor the Stourbridge coachman who drove her off have been heard from. Although Monk thinks its merely a case of a woman getting cold feet, he does agree to investigate.

To his surprise, the case is not what it seems. He discovers the whereabouts of Miriam Gardiner but not before the coachmans corpse is discovered. The police arrest Miriam and charge her with murder. The Stourbridge family believes Miriam is innocent and wants Monk to prove it.

The case takes a shocking turn after another murder occurs and a new arrest is made. Realizing that a trial is now inevitable, the Monks enlist Hesters former suitor, barrister Sir Oliver Rathbone. In the courtroom, under the skilled questioning of Rathbone, terrible secrets come out and the truth about Miriams situation is made public.

Half-historical mystery, half-courtroom drama, THE TWISTED ROOT will have you glued to the edge of your seat until the shocking denouement. The reader will also enjoy the Monks new marriage, and the mutual respect and devotion between Hester and William. (Sep., 368 pp., $6.99—Hardcover published September 1999)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg