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In O'Brien's exciting eighth Anne Cartier mystery (after 2008's Assassins' Rage), Anne learns while visiting London in the fall of 1789 that her well-to-do deaf friend, Janice Parker, was almost killed by a large stone that fell off a scaffold. Anne travels to Bath, the residence of Janice's uncle and guardian, Thomas Parker, to help Janice and also keep tabs on Parker as well as his half-brother, Capt. Seth Judd, both of whom have their eyes on Janice's fortune. As Anne tries to find evidence to implicate those behind what she comes to believe was an attempt on Janice's life, she must navigate both the legal and criminal worlds of Bath, Bristol and London, all while defying the period's social expectations for her gender. Despite the extensive cast of characters, the author manages to make each one lively and memorable. History enthusiasts will especially appreciate the careful research that O'Brien manages to seamlessly weave throughout the plot. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.