In this, the 13th installation of the Lady Emily mystery series, Colin makes it to the bedside of Queen Victoria who gives him a cryptic message shortly before her death. She passes soon after, making her eldest son Edward VII. On the day of Victoria’s funeral, a man is found dead in the Tower of London in a way that mimics the death scene of Henry VI, hundreds of years before. Colin is convinced that this represents a threat to the new king, but Emily is not so sure. More murders occur, each dressed and staged to look like the death scene of an English king. Emily and Colin must track the murderer through London’s seedy East End to brothels, alleys, and factories, braving gangs and criminals that view any outsider, no matter how well intentioned, as a threat.
Ms. Alexander excels at weaving historical details and contemporary social issues into her mysteries in a way that makes the reader feel embedded in the story. The common practice of child labor, the powerless existence of the poor and most women of that era, and the lack of even basic safety measures in factories and miners paint a vivid portrait of the Edwardian world Lady Emily inhabits. As always, Emily’s impertinent personality and her witty repartee with her husband make this series shine.
I have reviewed several Lady Emily mysteries on this blog. You can find the list here.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
This book will be published on October 30th and can be found on Amazon here.