Julian Kestrel, the dandy detective of Regency London, is most decidedly a man of the world and, through his valet, Dipper, reformed Cockney pickpocket, is not without ties to the underworld. One such connection is Dipper's sister Sally, a prostitute who accidentally happens across the possibility of murder while picking her clients' pockets. Since Sally is not quite in the position to go to the police with her knowledge, she and Julian must chase the clues all through London, from glittery parlors to the dank halls of a home for fallen women.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. 4-1/2*. Julian Kestrel is a fabulously-written lead character - intelligent, thoughtful, ethical and thoroughly likeable, which the reader learns from his words and deeds, thankfully, rather than just because the author says so. The plot is interesting and involved, without being overly convoluted. The characters and suspects are well-described, their actions understandable, and their motives realistic. The mystery begins when Kestrel, having arrived home early one evening, finds his valet Dipper entertaining a young woman in his parlor. Dipper, so named for his light fingers in in his early life, introduces his sister Sally, a working girl. Sally routinely steals a handkerchief from each of her clients, and among this evening’s haul is found a heart-wrenching plea from a young woman being held captive. Unfortunately, Sally has no idea from which client she acquired the letter. Thus begins this well-written mystery revolving around the underbelly of 1820’s London, upper-class society’s strictures and foibles, and the pursuit of money and thus power for good or ill – and all in an entertaining, rather than moralistic, structure. It is not necessary to read Cut To The Quick, the previous novel, to appreciate this one, but it surely is enjoyable to have the background.
This is the first Julian Kestral book I have read. Can't wait to read the other three! I read it in one day.The characters were well developed.