Felicity Carrol, the 20-year-old heroine of this appealing series launch set in 1887 England from children’s author Marcantonio (Red Ridin’ in the Hood), has a photographic memory, university degrees in medicine and history, and no interest in being a proper English lady. When her beloved former history teacher, Lord William Kent, is murdered in the British Museum, she decides to investigate. Insp. Jackson Davies of Scotland Yard believes that Kent—an expert in literature and lore about King Arthur—was killed by a thief, who also stole his priceless copy of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur. Felicity, deducing from crime scene evidence that the missing murder weapon is an antique crossbow, suspects the killing is deliberate. She’s proved correct when another peer is murdered, this time by a medieval flail, and his 14th-century tapestry depicting Arthur is stolen. Impressed with Felicity’s detective skills, Davies grudgingly allows her into the case, which comes to head during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Fans of Victorian mysteries have cause to rejoice. Agent: Elizabeth Kracht, Kimberley Cameron. (Feb.)
Praise for Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace:
"This colorful, action-filled mystery presents a novel twist."
"[An] entrancing sequel...Fans of Laurie King and Jacqueline Winspear will be thrilled by this capable, independent female protagonist."
"Felicity retains her feisty spirit and wit and once again has to battle for acceptance and credibility in a male-dominated society. Readers will look forward to her next adventure."
"There is...plenty of action and suspense, the mystery is satisfying, and the identity and psychological justification for the actions of Jack the Ripper are certainly plausible."
—Historical Novels Review
Praise for Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit:
“Readers who hunger for more portraits of independent women determined to make their ways in a stultifying society will take the heroine to heart.”
“This new series is off to a good start with a strong, intelligent main character who struggles to overcome the cultural structures of her time. For fans of cozy Victorian mysteries and admirers of Robin Paige, Elizabeth Peters, and Deanna Raybourn.”
"Marcantonio brings her characters to life through vivid storytelling [and] really does an excellent job of keeping her protagonist one step ahead of the reader."
—New York Journal of Books
“[Felicity] is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones...Recommended to those looking for a female superhero out to right wrongs and defy convention to do so.”
—Historical Novels Review
"A must read. It has it all, an intelligent heroine, a compelling plot and plenty of Victorian atmosphere to keep you entertained to the very last page."
—Emily Brightwell, New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Jefferies Mysteries
"A smart and likeable heroine, and a story that flies along at a cracking pace."
—Stephen Gallagher, author of The Kingdom of Bones
"If you like Victorian era mysteries, you'll love this book...The story did keep me glued...through the last page."
—Midwest Book Reviews
Felicity Carrol, the bane of her father's existence, scandalizes him still further by investigating a murder.
Even though Felicity's wealthy father doesn't love her, he does want her to make a good marriage and present him with some grandchildren. But his daughter, a Victorian bluestocking for whom education is everything, has yet to meet a man she can love. Learning of the death of William Kent, her most admired professor, changes the course of her life. Kent, a relative of Queen Victoria, has been found dead at a King Arthur exhibit at the British Museum. Although his valuable copy of The Legend of King Arthur was stolen, nothing else seems to be missing. At the funeral, Felicity meets Philip Chaucer, an intelligent and charming nobleman interested in King Arthur and perhaps Felicity, too. Traveling to London to learn more, she discovers that the weapon was a crossbow that was returned to its proper spot along with the bolt that killed Kent. Inspector Jackson Griggs Davies, the police officer assigned to the case, is a handsome, clever East Ender who doesn't know what to make of Felicity and is reluctant to entertain her theories about the crime. He's more willing to listen when Richard Banbury, a viscount, is found murdered and a priceless tapestry depicting King Arthur disappears. Felicity's success in identifying the murder weapon earns some grudging respect from Davies, but he continues to ignore her theories even after two more deaths. Going it alone proves dangerous for Felicity, but she's brave, fiercely intelligent, and determined to find the man who killed her friend.
Behind the welcome Victorian detail lies a so-so debut mystery. But readers who hunger for more portraits of independent women determined to make their ways in a stultifying society will take the heroine to heart.
DEBUT In 1887 England, 20-year-old Felicity Carrol is more interested in scientific experiments than society balls. Her wealthy, widowed father, Samuel Carrol, wishes her to marry and take her place in society instead of wasting time attending the University of London. He gives her an ultimatum: become engaged in the next three months or be sent to a Swiss finishing school. When one of her university mentors is murdered and an Arthurian artifact is stolen, Felicity decides to investigate, causing even more tension at home. When other murders occur and more artifacts are stolen, she's even more determined to identify the killer despite knowing that Insp. Jackson Davies does not want her interference. Using her forensic knowledge and social connSECTIONs, Felicity goes to great lengths to convince him her theories are valid. Differences in social standing aside, they must work together to bring a killer to justice. VERDICT This new series is off to a good start with a strong, intelligent main character who struggles to overcome the cultural strictures of her time. For fans of cozy Victorian mysteries and admirers of Robin Paige, Elizabeth Peters, and Deanna Raybourn.—Jean King, West Hempstead P.L., NY