Sep 25, 11
Read from September 24 to 25, 2011
Disclaimer first: I received this book as a free giveaway on this site. It isn't my typical reading material. Lately I've been reading more in the romance genre. But this book has reminded me how good the historical/romance/mystery genre can be.
This author seems to have really done her research regarding the time period the book is set in. It takes place in 1893 London. A mystery set among the "ton" of high society. In a time when image was everything, and even the rumor of improper behavior could ruin a girl and/or her family and their prospects for the future.
The main characters are a husband and wife, Colin and Emily. He is some type of "agent for the crown"; the specifics are never made quite clear. The thing that I found interesting is that Emily is given equality in solving the mystery, rather than just being a decorative appendage belonging to the husband. I believe this book is one of a series in which Colin and Emily solve mysteries in various places and circumstances. Emily has gotten quite a reputation as a problem-solver, while still being accepted by her peers and society of the time. So in a sense, Emily is a modern woman placed in a historical period.
Emily is strong and intelligent. She reads in Greek and Latin, she has political beliefs she stands for, she is concerned about social issues of the time. And her husband supports all her opinions and actions, which is not the norm for the time. This is a period in which women were not allowed an opinion, and were ridiculed for having an education or interest in anything other than the latest fashions or gossip.