The Rosalind Thorne Mysteries—inspired by the novels of Jane Austen—continue as the audacious Rosalind strives to aid those in need while navigating the halls of high society…
Rosalind Thorne has slowly but assuredly gained a reputation as “a useful woman”—by helping respectable women out of some less-than-respectable predicaments.
Her latest endeavor is a tragedy waiting to happen. Desperate Margaretta Seymore is with child—and her husband is receiving poisoned pen letters that imply that her condition is the result of an affair with the notorious actor Fletcher Cavendish. Margaretta asks Rosalind to find out who is behind the scurrilous letters. But before she can make any progress, Cavendish is found dead, stabbed through the heart.
Suddenly, Rosalind is plunged into the middle of one of the most sensational murder trials London has ever seen, and her client’s husband is the prime suspect. With the help of the charming Bow Street runner Adam Harkness, she must drop the curtain on this fatal drama before any more lives are ruined.
In Wilde's entertaining sequel to 2016's A Useful Woman, her Regency-era characters particularly the well born are extremely good at keeping up appearances, but behind closed doors, their lives are just as scandalous, confusing, and chaotic as those in our own era. Rosalind Thorne was born into the aristocracy, but she's free to navigate the seedier side of life for ladies in need of her discreet investigative services, since her father squandered the family fortune and abandoned her and her mother. Rosalind sympathizes with Margaretta Seymore, a prospective client, since she, too, faces public disgrace. Margaretta's husband is threatening to file suit for "criminal conversation" against a prominent stage actor, with whom she's rumored to have had an affair. What first appears to be a simple matter of marital impropriety soon turns into a case of murder that sends shock waves through London. Rosalind's investigation highlights the difficulties created by Regency-era social mores and how women in particular were hobbled by these conventions. Some light romantic diversion reveals aspects of Rosalind's personal history that help round out her character.