London, May 1812: Political intrigue, the assassination of the Prime Minister, treachery in high places, a broken engagement and a fiancé fled abroard.
Two people will become involved. Miss Phoebe Hillier, the jilted fiancé, and James the Duke of Whittaker. Whitehall is looking for culprits in the upper echelons of society and James is their man sent to find out the truth.
Are there others pulling the strings, orchestrating events, or did the man, John Bellingham simply do it by himself.
I was caught up in the mystery by the third page and well and truly hooked by the time Phoebe and Whittaker met and interacted.
Phoebe, our wealthy heiress is unexpected. Seemingly tractable, she is actually delightfully strong and intelligent, a woman of her times who bowed down to the inevitable force of family and duty. With her fiancé fled her world is beginning to unravel in interesting ways. Time for her to blossom, if she can survive the attempts on her life.
Tired of the lie he has been leading James is ready to leave behind the path he has trod, acting out the part of a dissolute rake, seemingly despaired of by his father, whilst in reality a spy for those behind Whitehall's doors. That was until Prime Minister Spencer Percival is murdered.Taking a moment in history, plucking on the golden thread hidden in the dross, Diener has once again shown her talent for untangling the whole and spinning a yarn that ensnares.
Snippets of heard mumblings referencing puppets and Thomas Beckett are thrown in adding further puzzle pieces.
I love the cover, the rich folds on Phoebe's dress. You can sense this young woman's strength of character and sense of purpose in the way she holds her shoulders, the poise of her jawline softened by the whisper of curls down her back. An intriguing design.
A strong regency mystery with a growing love story supporting the whole.
A NetGalley ARC