Pemberley, Jul 1 2011, $29.95
By January 1716, the winter is so cold the Thames has frozen. As is the custom when the river freezes over, a Frost Fair is constructed. However, one early morning, a body garbed in a coronation suit is found against a wood booth. The frozen corpse is Sir Walter Tatham, who officials affirm was brutally murdered.
Lord Harrowby Hawkhurst had recently been visited by the deceased so he asks Hester Kean, who know the dead man and has solved homicides before (see The Spider’s Touch and The Motive from the Deed) to make inquiries into the victim’s recent dealings. Though she asks why he is interested, he offers no explanation even as he looks sickly panicked. Hester, in turn, asks her friend, Viscount St. Mars who also earns a living as the highwayman Blue Satan, to assist her. Although he already has a difficult mission to liberate a Jacobite from Newgate, he agrees to join her on the investigation.
Historical mystery fans will wear mittens and a woolen hat while reading this terrific early Georgian era whodunit as the worst winter in over a century makes it dangerous to be outside. The story line brings to life early eighteenth century London and nearby towns as well as the political enmity that has divided the country during the reign of the first Hanover opposed by supporters of the Stuart “Great Pretender”. Since the Birth of the Blue Satan, this series has been a winner with each entry.