Tuesday, March 31, 2020

ARC Review: The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman

The Body in the Garden
Author: Katharine Schellman
Series: A Lily Adler Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (April 7, 2020)

Description: London 1815.  Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn't expect is the dead body in Lady Walter's garden.

Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail. But she's willing to leave the matter to the local constables--until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused, Lily realizes she's the only one with the key to catching the killer.

Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend's husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London's social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now, Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the murderer's next target.

My Thoughts: Lily Adler is a young widow who has returned to London to try to decided what to do with her life now that the plans she and her husband made have been derailed by his death. She is deeply grieving the loss of the man she loved.

When her best friend encourages her to take up the social reel again, she doesn't expect to overhear an argument and a gunshot and find herself in the middle of a mystery. When her friend's powerful husband pays off the Bow Street Runners to make the potential scandal go away, Lily feels that it is up to her to solve the crime.

Lily is assisted in her endeavors by Navy Captain Jack Hartley and West India heiress Ofelia Oswald. Jack is a childhood friend of Lily's husband who was away when he died. Miss Oswald is connected to the body found in the garden and is a bright young woman sent to England to find a husband.

After some misunderstandings with Jack who assumes Lily is a typical society lightweight, he becomes a good friend to her. His initial suspicions about Miss Oswald who is definitely keeping secrets adds some additional tension to the story.

In fact, there is a lot of tension as the murderer definitely doesn't appreciate Lily's investigation into the murder of the young man. There are two additional murders and a couple of attempts on Lily's life before the story comes to a satisfying conclusion.

I enjoyed the story very much and liked the depths of the characters and the Regency setting.

Favorite Quote:
He laughed abruptly. "You know, I've not known anyone quite like you before."

Lily was torn between amusement and annoyance. "I hear that with some frequency. I choose to take it as a compliment, though I suspect it is only intended that way about half the time. You were saying, Captain?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I really love London and have spend some quality time there. Any book that takes place in the city is a win for me!


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!