A Dangerous Affair

( 4 )


Caro Peacock, the acclaimed author of A Foreign Affair, once again ingeniously blends history, suspense, and adventure and returns an endearing and exceptional heroine to the fictional fold.

In Victoria's England, there are perilous intrigues a proper young lady would do well to avoid . . .

Liberty Lane, still in her early twenties, is doing her best to make a new life for herself in London after being bruised by loss and treachery. But ...

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Caro Peacock, the acclaimed author of A Foreign Affair, once again ingeniously blends history, suspense, and adventure and returns an endearing and exceptional heroine to the fictional fold.

In Victoria's England, there are perilous intrigues a proper young lady would do well to avoid . . .

Liberty Lane, still in her early twenties, is doing her best to make a new life for herself in London after being bruised by loss and treachery. But there's no chance for her to settle down as a conventional young lady. First, a disturbingly attractive young politician, Benjamin Disraeli, wants her to use her contacts in the theatre world to find out more about a prima ballerina with a notorious love life called Columbine. He hints that some important interests may be at stake. Then Columbine is murdered in her dressing room, after an on-stage brawl with a younger and less successful dancer, who becomes prime suspect. Liberty is at the center of the investigation because one of her dearest friends, Daniel Suter, is convinced of the girl's innocence and will put his own neck in danger to save her. Liberty's determination to save them from the gallows leads her from the upper reaches of the aristocracy to some of London's lowlife haunts, posing the question: How far would you go to save a friend?

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Editorial Reviews

London's Sunday Observer
“A plucky protagonist who refuses to back down as an increasingly murky plot surfaces...”
Sacramento Book Review
“A Dangerous Affair is not only a good mystery, but also a very good Victorian novel. Peacock has a wonderful grasp of Victorian soceity, and helps bring it to life through her well written and entertaining young Liberty.”
Publishers Weekly

Liberty Lane returns in Peacock's newest Victorian London melodrama. Worried about funds, the industrious Liberty (last seen in A Foreign Affair) accepts a commission from Benjamin Disraeli to spy on Columbine, a dancer whose indiscretions could cause a public scandal. When Columbine turns up poisoned after feuding with Jenny, another dancer, Liberty decides she must track down the killer before Jenny hangs for the crime. What she uncovers is a web of secrets drawing together the mighty with the dregs of society. Peacock skillfully interweaves figures of real Victorian London, while avoiding the genre's typical focus on aristocracy. London's artistic underbelly is grimy, gritty and has instant appeal that the ton can't match. The mystery flows smoothly, with well-placed red herrings, excellent reveals and pleasing surprises. Readers should look forward to their next meeting with Liberty and her friends, particularly gruff, wise groom Amos, the Watson to Liberty's would-be Sherlock Holmes. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061447488
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 764,070
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I love this series!

    The Dangerous Affair, aka Death of a Dancer, by Caro Peacock. This is book two in the Liberty Lane series, it is even better than the first. I believe one of the reasons for this is that I am invested in the characters. Back from book one is Benjamin Disraeli, Liberty’s dear friends Daniel Suter the musician, and Amos Legg the groom, also Mrs. Martley who is acting as housekeeper, (as if she could afford one) and chaperone, (as if she needs one) for Liberty, as she has taken up residence in London, eeking out a living teaching music to the upper class students in Mayfair. Liberty’s discretion and help in thwarting the treasonous plot in book one, has brought her to the attention of Mr. Disraeli. Whom after seeing Liberty in action, has decided that she is a person who could be of use to and up and coming man like him. Liberty has found a little place for herself and for Mrs. Martley off Adam’s mews near Hyde Park, also near the stables where her beloved horse Rancie is housed and where Amos has found employment. But music lessons don’t pay much, and with two mouths to feed, and a horse to keep, Liberty is forced to make some hard decisions. Disraeli comes to her to offer her a commission. There is a fading dancer who is a possible threat, to whom Disraeli declines to say. He asks her to use her theater contacts to find out if Columbine is a treat to “his friends,” She needs the money so she agrees to find out what she can. The dancer is murdered and a young dancer accused, and Liberty finds herself pulled into the investigation much more dangerous and dire than she could have imagined, a life is at stake and her best friends happiness depends on her finding the truth. Again Caro Peacock really takes you there; this is one of the things I find I like best in these books how she brings London and the time period to life. All the little details that tell me that Ms. Peacock has done her research, and knows this time period very very well. I was completely absorbed and was glad I had books three and four on hand. 5 star

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    A good average histoeical mystery.

    The characters are interesting and the historical details give this novel some special interest. There is not, however, much content beyond a fairly ordinary plot to give book substance. It does not seem to have much to say.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just Missed the Mark

    Set in early Victorian London, this story focuses on Liberty Lane's efforts to solve the murder of a dancer named Columbine, after a young lady named Jenny Jarvis is falsely sentenced to death for the crime.

    "A Dangerous Affair" is the sequel to "A Foreign Affair"- which I have not read. I think if I had read the first book, my rating for this book would be higher. The story line could be interesting to those familiar with the main character Liberty Lane. However, for someone reading this book without having read the first book, the story can drag on a bit, because the author focuses on Liberty's life and investigative skills, but does not develop Jenny's character enough for the reader to "care" about her fate. The storyline could have worked if the author would have developed the other characters a bit more.

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  • Posted December 10, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a terrific early Victorian whodunit

    In his thirties recently elected to Parliament,¿watch dog¿ Benjamin Disraeli offers Liberty Lane a fee to spy on dancer Columbine, whose disreputable behavior could lead to a nasty highly publicized scandal. Needing the money, Liberty reluctantly agrees. However, someone poisons Columbine with the London police leaning towards rival dancer Jenny as the prime suspect as she and the deceased had a public dispute.<BR/><BR/>Liberty thinks otherwise, but there is mounting pressure to execute Jenny, already convicted by the public, the media, and the cops, for the murder. To prevent a double injustice of the wrong person being hung while the real killer is free, Liberty investigates ably assisted by Amos the groom. They begin to unravel a series of murky deceptions in which the influential and the downtrodden are tied together in secrecy.<BR/><BR/>The sequel to A FOREIGN AFFAIR is a terrific early Victorian whodunit that uses real historical persons to anchor time and place. Liberty is an intelligent sleuth and her sidekick Amos serves as a sort of Watson. The mystery is cleverly devised with fabulous plausible spins and misdirections as Caro peacock furbishes an entertaining early nineteenth century investigative tale.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

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