When the Devil Drives

Overview

Autumn, 1839. As the London nights darken, rumours spread about the devil's chariot, which preys on young women walking alone at night. Novice private investigator Liberty Lane has no time for such horror stories, so when a poetic young man begs her to find his missing fiancé, she accepts, suspecting there is a more prosaic explanation. Meanwhile, she is engaged to help prevent a royal scandal involving Prince Albert's worldlier brother, Prince Ernest. Liberty begins work on both cases, but when young women begin...

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When the Devil Drives

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Overview

Autumn, 1839. As the London nights darken, rumours spread about the devil's chariot, which preys on young women walking alone at night. Novice private investigator Liberty Lane has no time for such horror stories, so when a poetic young man begs her to find his missing fiancé, she accepts, suspecting there is a more prosaic explanation. Meanwhile, she is engaged to help prevent a royal scandal involving Prince Albert's worldlier brother, Prince Ernest. Liberty begins work on both cases, but when young women begin showing up dead, the tales of the devil's chariot don't seem so ridiculous any more...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The impending engagement of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1839 forms the backdrop for Peacock’s gripping fourth Liberty Lane mystery (after 2009’s Death in Shining Armour). London is rife with rumors that the devil’s chariot, “drawn by two black horses with red eyes and footmen on the back with bull’s heads and horns,” is snatching women off the streets. When Lane goes in search of 19-year-old Dora Tilbury, whose sweetheart last saw her at church in Essex before she was supposed to meet him in London, the female private investigator finds the corpse of more than one unidentified young woman. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure who claims to be working for Disraeli asks Lane to help with a delicate matter involving a member of the retinue of Prince Albert’s brother. Lane is more than up to the challenge of an intricate puzzle that merges subtle fair-play clues, rich period atmosphere, and fast-moving action. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Young women are being scooped off the streets of 1839 London under the cover of darkness, and folks think the devil himself is driving the coach. When the bodies of two victims are later positioned near prominent London monuments, the fear factor rises. Even Liberty Lane, a female private investigator, is shaken by this development. She has been probing the disappearance of a young man's fiancée—who has been murdered—and her client is AWOL. At the same time, a woman whom Liberty has been hired to shadow vanishes, and Liberty is correct in assuming the worst. Most disturbingly, both of Liberty's cases point toward Windsor Castle, where the young Queen Victoria is entertaining Prince Albert and his brother, Prince Ernest. Danger and intrigue ensue. VERDICT The intrepid Liberty Lane (A Family Affair) is not to be missed in her fourth outing. Neither cozy nor too gritty, Peacock's series somehow meshes gumshoe sleuthing with Victorian high society. Caro Peacock is the pen name of Gillian Linscott (Nell Bray series).
Kirkus Reviews
A killer of young women terrorizes 1839 London. Liberty Lane, a music teacher turned private investigator, is still establishing herself when she suddenly gets two new clients. The first is a young man whose fiancée is missing, the second a gentleman of mystery who wants her to protect the Contessa D'Abbravilla from a dangerous involvement with Price Ernest of Saxe Coburg, who's visiting England with his brother Price Albert. Liberty and her assistant Tabby, a streetwise girl she's taken in, have paid scant attention to the awful stories of girls being snatched off the street by men with the heads of bulls driving a black carriage. Now they must consider the possibility that one of the bodies found dead at the base of a well-known monument may be the missing fiancé. Liberty is also busy trying to get close to the Contessa in the hopes of thwarting her plans to talk to Price Ernest, the lover who spurned her. Although the nation is enthralled with the romance between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Liberty learns that even royal love affairs have diplomatic consequences and fears that neither of her cases may be as simple as she first thought. Since her clients are not what they seem, Liberty must make the most of her social connections to get the information she is discovering to the right people. Peacock's fourth (A Foreign Affair, 2008, etc.) is an enjoyable mystery featuring a sprightly heroine and the obligatory period detail.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780290119
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Caro Peacock, who has written five previous Liberty Lane novels, is a pseudonym of Gillian Linscott the award-winning author of numerous crime novels, including the Nell Bray historical mystery series featuring the eponymous suffragette sleluth. She lives near the Welsh borders.

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