“A sentence to Dartmoor Prison is a sentence to a living hell…” Lord Charles Sheridan and his American wife, Kate, have heard some truly awful things about Britain’s most notorious prison. But Dartmoor and its mist-shrouded environs hold special appeal for both Sheridans. Kate hopes to find inspiration for her new Gothic novel, while Charles plans to implement a fingerprinting program at the prison—and arrange a meeting with one of its most infamous inmates, Samuel Spencer. He’s convinced that Spencer—a Scotsman who admitted to killing his wife—is, in fact, innocent. What’s more, he believes he has the evidence to prove it. But Spencer continues to maintain his own guilt—and, as if to confirm it, he soon stages a daring prison escape. Lord Charles and his acquaintance Arthur Conan Doyle are most perplexed by this odd turn of events. And when a body turns up on the moor, it’s up to the two men—and the clever Kate—to discover if the missing convict is connected to this murderous new case…
Mysterious Dartmoor is the darkly atmospheric setting for Paige's latest installment in the Victorian series (after 2001's Death at Epsom Downs) featuring Sir Charles Sheridan and Kate Ardleigh Sheridan. Sir Charles is visiting Dartmoor Prison as part of his ongoing project to fingerprint prisoners, while Kate is doing research for one of the "penny dreadfuls" she writes under the name Beryl Bardwell. The Sheridans have been invited to attend a seance at Thornworthy Castle, the home of Sir Edgar Duncan and his beautiful wife, Rosalind. Their fellow guests include the noted author Doctor Arthur Conan Doyle and a journalist named Fletcher Robinson, with whom Conan Doyle is collaborating on a new story. When one of the attendees at the seance whispers of murder, the others look askance, but a dead body soon turns up. Meanwhile, a murderer has escaped from Dartmoor Prison, one in whom Sir Charles had taken great interest. Sir Charles suspects the man may be innocent of the crime for which he was imprisoned, but now Charles and Kate must prove as well that the accused killer isn't responsible for this latest murder. Charles finds himself working with the famed author, who has something of a reputation for being interested in unusual crimes. Though Conan Doyle disconcertingly comes off a bit self-interested and stubborn, Paige has crafted another convincingly detailed Victorian mystery, sure to please fans and new readers alike. FYI:Paige is the pseudonym for the husband-wife team of William and Susan Wittig Albert.