Janice Bennett endows readers with an opulent historical whodunit in this second installment of the Bow Street’s Best series. Lady Henrietta is a bold and confident heroine who’s unflinching mind-set encourages admiration. Roland is a flawed yet perfect leading man. There’s just something about his vulnerabilities that make him all the more masculine. The discreet Bow Street Runner Benjamin Frake is almost extravagant in his low-key presence. The victim is outrageous and I almost felt like applauding at his demise. The suspects were all captivating in their own way and I loved discovering all the riveting secrets about each one of them. I loved how I have been waiting for the next story in this series and I can honestly say I was not disappointed with this one. In fact I think I may have enjoyed it a little better than the first, which really is saying something as it was spectacular. Once again this author’s style brings to life a fabulous mystery in a time period that she so fantastically details with her meticulous descriptions. I hope that this is the second in an extensive series.
Lady Henrietta must marry Desmond Galbraith, seventh earl of Tavistock because of her father’s unusual will. He is completely disagreeable but she is resigned to fact even when during the engagement ball a man who embodies all her wildest dreams appears. She is surprised to find out he is another second cousin and he becomes the prime suspect when Desmond dies while making the engagement toast. Can she and Roland discover who the actual murderer is and explore their attraction before Netta becomes the next victim?
Because of the terms of her father’s will, Lady Henrietta has long known she must marry her unpleasant second cousin Desmond Galbraith, seventh earl of Tavistock. When a man who epitomizes her romantic daydreams walks into her engagement ball, she’s appalled to discover this is another second cousin, Roland, heir apparent to the earldom, returned from his long banishment in India. Her childhood memories of him are confused and vague, but she’s often heard the terrible stories of his cruelty. Then Desmond drinks a mocking toast to Lady Netta and dies of oleander poisoning…
Could Roland have murdered him for the title? While Benjamin Frake of Bow Street sets about uncovering clues and investigating suspects, Lady Netta is torn between both fear of, and undeniable attraction to, this older cousin. While she begins to question all she has ever known of Roland, he makes it clear she’s part of a past he only wants to forget. Netta soon realizes that in risking her heart, she might also be risking her life.
Blush sensuality level: This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).