The third installment of the John Pickett series of humorous Regency mysteries finds Bow Street Runner Pickett in Scotland investigating a woman found unconscious on the beach ó a woman who bears a striking resemblance to the local laird's daughter, a girl missing and presumed dead for the last fifteen years. Pickett is surprised to discover that the woman was found by none other than Lady Fieldhurst and her three young nephews ó and gratified to learn that her ladyship has registered at the seaside inn as Mrs. Julia Pickett. When old Angus Kirkbride dies only hours after announcing his intention of changing his will in his daughter's favor, "Mr. and Mrs. Pickett" must join forces to discover the truth about a family reunion suddenly turned deadly.
Early in South's pleasing third Regency whodunit (after 2008's A Dead Bore), John Pickett, a Bow Street Runner, accompanies a London magistrate to Scotland to verify the identity of Angus Kirkbride's stepdaughter, Elspeth. Elspeth has been found barely conscious on the same beach from which she vanished 15 years earlier. Unbeknownst to Pickett, Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, and her two nephews were the discoverers of Elspeth, and Julia, desiring to travel incognito, has registered as Mrs. Pickett at the local inn. The detecting duo work out a plan, each secretly pleased to see the other, despite the great chasm between their social rankings. Suspicious characters abound when, following a celebratory ball in honor of Elspeth's return, Angus dies before he can sign his new will restoring Elspeth as heir. The jaw-dropping conclusion will have new readers scurrying to catch up on Pickett's previous adventures and eagerly anticipating the next installment.