In South's delightful second Regency mystery (after 2006's In Milady's Chamber), recently widowed Lady Julia Fieldhurst decides to leave London and spend the summer in Yorkshire with Sir Gerald and Lady Anne Hollingshead, largely to avoid gossip surrounding her husband's murder. Alas, tragedy strikes shortly after Julia arrives at Hollingshead Place. The local vicar, Mr. Danvers, who regales the family over dinner with talk of his almost completed book on the history of the village, dies later that night in a fire at the vicarage. Julia writes to Bow Street runner John Pickett in London for help in investigating what may be a crime. Pickett poses as Julia's footman, allowing the reader a view of what goes on downstairs as well as up. Tension between the eldest Hollingshead daughter and her parents over her love for a poor curate as well as the growing attraction between Julia and Pickett lend romantic interest. The manners and mores of the period as South depicts them ring true. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A Dead Bore: Another John Pickett mysteryby Sheri Cobb South
Eager to escape London following the scandal of her husband's death, Lady Fieldhurst accepts an invitation to spend the summer in rural Yorkshire as the guest of Sir Gerald and Lady Hollingshead. She soon discovers, however, that country life is not the panacea she had hoped for: tension reigns and tempers flare at Hollingshead Place, due in large part to Lady Hollingshead's ambitions for her daughter, a lovely young lady destined for a brilliant marriage in spite of her love for a penniless curate.
When a dinner party ends with the death of the vicar--a kindly old soul whose only sin appears to be the authorship of a dull local history--Lady Fieldhurst suspects foul play and sends for Bow Street Runner John Pickett, with one stipulation: since she is a guest in the house, Picket must keep his connection to Bow Street a secret.
Pickett obliges by presenting himself as her footman, complete with livery and powdered hair. But Pickett soon has his white-gloved hands full sifting through old secrets, uncovering hidden passions, and dealing with a demanding housekeeper--not to mention avoiding the younger daughter of the house, a precocious fourteen-year-old with a school girl infatuation for the faux footman. Then there is the problem of Lady Fieldhurst herself, at once an able assistant and an all too pleasant distraction...
In this follow-up to In My Lady's Chamber, widowed Lady Julia Fieldhurst sets out for Yorkshire and a month's visit with the Hollingshead family. But the peaceful stay she anticipated ends with the death of the vicar in his study as the vicarage burns down. Lady Fieldhurst sends for Bow Street runner John Pickett, disguised as a footman, to help her investigate. Set in Regency England, where manners and strict social rules dictate human interaction, South's lively historical reveals how emotions can overturn society's strictures. Her deft way with words and charming characters make this a winner, sure to appeal to readers who enjoy Ann Granger and Deanna Rayborn.
Jo Ann Vicarel
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Meet the Author
Sheri Cobb South is the author of three books about Bow Street Runner John Pickett and Lady Fieldhurst. Her other works include the critically acclaimed Regency romance The Weaver Takes a Wife, the award-winning Miss Darby's Duenna, and five teen romances published by Bantam as part of its Sweet Dreams series, including the popular Wrong-Way Romance.
She is a graduate summa cum laude of the University of South Alabama, where she earned a B.A. in English and won the William R. Harvey Award for excellence in the study of English literature. A native and longtime resident of Alabama, she recently moved to Loveland, Colorado with her husband. Sheri loves to hear from readers, and invites them to "Like" her on Facebook and visit her website at www.shericobbsouth.com.
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