R. J. Koreto has been a financial journalist and some of his work has appeared in mystery magazines. “Death on the Sapphire” is his first novel and highlights Frances Ffolkes, the sister of a Marquis. She is very active in civic organizations and a suffragette, which dismays her brother tremendously. She is very independent and lives in a hotel for ladies instead of the family home. Her dutiful lady’s maid, June Mallow is her constant companion and the two of them can really stir the soup.
A good friend of the family, Major Danny Colcombe, is reported to have committed suicide, but his sister does not believe that and asks Franny to look into it because she knows that Franny is quite resourceful. The Major was working on a manuscript about the Boer War in South Africa and especially on one campaign of the war in which many soldiers were killed. Speculation is that the troops were sent into a unfortunate situation that couldn’t help but turn out badly with many casualties. The exposure of this doomed military foray could damage the careers and reputations of a few important and influential military and government men. After Colcombe’s death, the manuscript comes up missing and a series of murders occurs. Franny is determined to find the manuscript, expose the murderers and clear the Major’s name and see that he gets the posthumous recognition that he deserves.
I think this first book of Koreto’s series starring Lady Frances Ffolkes is a winner and I am eagerly anticipating the next books in the series.
An extraordinary woman living in extraordinary times, Lady Frances Ffolkes is an Edwardian-era suffragette who has an uncanny ability to attract danger and romance.
When Major Colcombe, a family friend and war veteran, dies under mysterious circumstances, the good Lady discovers that he was working on a manuscript about South Africa’s bloody Boer War, which reportedly revealed a scandalous mistake that cost many innocent lives. Now, it’s up to Frances and her loyal lady's maid, June Mallow, to track down the missing manuscript and bring the killer to justice. Despite kerfuffles with Scotland Yard and the British Secret Service, Frances never backs down and finds herself in several very unfortunate positions--and one very fortunate love triangle.
Death on the Sapphire is R. J. Koreto's witty and winsome debut of a series that is sure to be fan favorite for years to come.