This is a totally engaging historical Victorian mystery. Lady Elizabeth Fraser is returning from her failed London season to her home. The train she is travelling in is involved in an horrific accident. Elizabeth is freed from the wreck but cannot escape the carnage she is part of. Once safe in a guest house she discovers the handsome surgeon, Paul Wilcox, who had attended her at the disaster site, is operating on the kitchen table with no-one to assist him. Elizabeth steps up, even though if anyone knew her true status she would be a figure of scandal, despite the extenuating circumstances.
What she doesn't know is that their lives will become even more entwined when Paul is arrested and charged with having caused the death of one of his patients.
As Elizabeth tries to sort out the truth she finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy to do with the railway development, that government knowledge is being used to defraud and undercut shareholders, and that murder and the deliberate wrecking of trains are all a part and parcel of a bigger picture. The shocks continue as she realizes that beyond this even, is retribution and vengeance involving her family.
The scenes of Newgate and of Paul's trial are convincing, as is the part Elizabeth plays.
A virtuoso beginning novel, with I hope more to come!
A NetGalley ARC