A Family Affair
Avon, Jun 2010, $13.99
In 1839 Conservative MP Benjamin Disraeli asks private sleuth Liberty Lane for some assistance. He wants to hire her to investigate the claims of Lady Sophia Brinkburn. The aristocratic lady’s husband is dying while she insists the heir to the Brinkburn title Stephen is illegitimate so cannot claim the estate; if true the younger brother Miles will inherit all.
Lane goes undercover, renting a cottage near the Brinkburn estate. She meets Lady Brinkburn, but is stunned as the woman is amiable and obviously mentally competent. Thus the motive to destroy her family’s reputation including her own with this scandal remains out of reach. However, the situation takes an odd twist when someone appears to have murdered the family retainer and Lady Brinkburn.
The latest Lane historical mystery (see A Foreign Affair and A Dangerous Affair) is an enjoyable brisk thriller that starts off with a jousting between the Brinkburn siblings and never slows down. Even with the fast pace and a delightful surprising twist, readers also obtain a deep look at the early Victorian era when mass transportation changes society. However, this strong nineteenth century thriller belongs to Ms. Lane who’s in her top sleuthing form as her inquiry turns from legitimacy to homicide.