A brutal murder draws nobleman Sebastian St. Cyr into the tangled web of the British royal court in this gripping historical mystery from the national bestselling author of Where the Dead Lie.
London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose's ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panic the palace, which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist. But Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero refuse to allow Jane's murderer to escape justice.
Untangling the secrets of Jane's world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery where each player has his or her own unsavory agenda and no one can be trusted. As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death . . .
Harris's fascinating 13th mystery set in Regency-era London (after 2017's Where the Dead Lie) centers on the plight of Princess Charlotte, heiress presumptive to the throne, who's being encouraged to marry William, Prince of Orange, a union designed to benefit her father's political agenda. Hero Devlin, Sebastian St. Cyr's wife, and midwife Alexi Sauvage are hurrying home from helping with the delivery of an infant when they literally stumble on the body of a young woman, whom Hero recognizes as Jane Ambrose, Princess Charlotte's piano teacher. An examination of the corpse indicates that Jane was killed elsewhere and dumped in the street. Soon Sebastian and Hero are investigating the death, in spite of aggressive efforts on the part of the palace to label it as accidental and so shield Princess Charlotte from any hint of scandal. Or is there a more sinister reason for their actions? Harris ably weaves real events into a satisfying mystery that's chock-full of engrossing historical tidbits.