“The third installment in the Ladies’ Amateur Sleuth Society series is what Publisher’s Weekly calls a “charming Victorian whodunit romance…” and Romantic Times gave it a 4-1/2 star Top Pick” (from Robyn DeHart’s website).
The first of DeHart hist-ros I have encountered, I just finished giving it the obligatory second read. As crunchily satisfying as the first go-round, I found myself perusing the shelves of my favorite used book store tonight in search of more Sleuth series (but alas, to no avail!).
Our heroine Willow is dedicated to caring for her ailing mother. Her only joy in life is participating in the Ladies Amateur Sleuth Society…and writing rogue Scotland Yard detective very pointed anonymous letters.
Stickler for rules and propriety, she thinks his methods are too deviant and would love to show him the error of his ways.
So of course, she gets exactly that chance! But (thankfully for us) instead of the slumpy ne’er do well she was expecting, James Sterling is hot! And, as a gentlemen born, he also has a remarkable streak of the milk of human kindness.
And as Willow will learn, some witnesses deserve a good thrashing.
The chemistry between these characters is great, the tension real, and overall we get some delicious pre-marital loving.
Did I love the subplot? Not really. Somehow I always pick the Victorian spy series, but find the romance much more interesting. Its not really a gripping mystery, nor is the action (of the subplot that is) page turning. But as a backdrop for love, it will do just as well as a country romp or Town soiree.
Go for DeHart the next time you are puzzled at who to pick from the shelves. She is a delightful Victorian departure from Regency (which even the most devoted of readers sometimes need a rest).