Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 23rd 2020
Genres: Historical Romance, Young Adult
A twisty tale reminiscent of Jane Austen—with a dash of murder—Cindy Anstey’s Deadly Curious is perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Agatha Christie.
1834. Sophia Thompson wants nothing more than to be one of the famed Bow Street Runners, London’s most elite corps of detectives. Never mind that a woman has never before joined their ranks—and certainly never mind that her reclusive family has forbidden her from pursuing such an unladylike goal.She gets the chance to prove her capabilities when an urgent letter arrives from her frantic cousin Daphne, begging Sophia to come look into the suspicious death of Daphne’s brother.
As Sophia begins to unravel the tangled threads of the case—with the help of a charming young policeman—she soon realizes that the murderer may be even closer to her family than she ever suspected.
Some secrets are better left buried...
After Sophia receives a letter asking for help from her cousin Daphne, who knows of Sophia's interests, asking for help in solving her brother's murder, Sophia talks her father into traveling to West Ravenwood. Nearly 1 year ago, 23 year old Andrew Waverley was murdered and dumped in the woods. The constable in charge has no clues and no suspects except for Edward Waverly who has been pushing for a much thorough investigation from anyone who would listen and who recently found the alleged murder weapon.
Daphne advises Sophia that her family is being targeted, and she has been beset with accidents, lapses in memory, and mistakes in judgment. While Sophia is visiting, strange "accidents" do start to happen. It could be something as small as an old toy left on the stairs for someone to trip on. Then there are shots into the house that could have hit Sophia or Daphne. It appears that someone really was out to get the family.
Enter 20 year old Jeremy Frasier, the 4th son of a minor baron and a young detective for Bow Street Runners. He hasn't had a murder case yet, but he was sent from London by Sir Elderberry to help out on Andrew's murder. Sadly, he was told nothing about the case or why he was even going to this small town. Mr. Waverly had asked for their help after finding a new clue. Upon arrival, Jeremy learns the family is struggling to deal with Andrew's murder. Jeremy wants to prove himself and starts looking into things right away. After his driver is poisoned, both Jeremy and Sophia believe this all has to do with Andrew's murder. The list of would be killers is exhausting.
Sophia pushes her way into Jeremy's investigation because Jeremy realizes quickly that she's both helpful and has her head on straight. We can scoff at Sophia believing that reading one book would give her a leg up, but her logical mind does go where Jeremy's doesn't. With some minor hiccups, they both work well together and thus feelings do develop. Part of the reason for my rating is that the romance is not a large part of the book. It is subtle with hints that later in the story one of them is going to kiss the other and sparks are going to fly.
As Sophia and Jeremy question a rather large group of suspects and follow the clues to where it might take them, they understand that the family, and even Sophia is being targeted and that someone close to the family has to be the murderer. It is fair of me to say that I identified the suspected killer almost immediately after this person was introduced. Too many clues pointed directly to this character as well as perhaps one or two others. Sophia's desire to break into a male-dominated field will appeal to young readers who have been told they can do or be anything they want.
I respect the fact that the author wrote Sophia's father as being supportive, and not immediately wanting her to get married to the first eligible bachelor with money. Too many times the parental unit is worthless or non-existent which is the cause of so many problems we are currently dealing with in our society today.
Cindy Antsey is the author of Love, Lies and Spies; Duels & Deception; Suitors and Sabotage; Carols and Chaos; The Hummingbird Dagger; and Deadly Curious
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.
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