Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Sick of Shadows
Edwardian Mystery, No 3

By M.C. Beaton

Lady Rose Summer is used to being the belle of the ball, but when she spots beautiful newcomer Dolly Tremaine she knows that she has met her match. However, Dolly is desperate for a friend and Rose is happy to oblige. When Dolly wants to meet Rose early one morning by the Serpentine she arrives with Daisy in tow only to find her new friend dead – lying in the river dressed as the Lady of Shallot. Naturally Rose is keen to investigate and Harry Cathcart is ready to do just that. But this is just the beginning of an involved case.

This new series is well into its stride by this third entry, and once again Ms Beaton demonstrates very ably her talent at packing a thin volume with incidents. We are getting to know more about the characters now and there are plenty of new ones too. As ever, this author is adept at social satire and this is one of the books’ chief joys. She appears to know a fair bit about her chosen period, in particular its arcane rituals, snobbery and complicated social hierarchy, which is as much a part of the plot as the murders. As in her other books, her protagonists, Rose and Harry, are not shining paragons but full of the expected prejudices and failings as you would expect them to be; in the same way as Hamish Macbeth and particularly her finest creation (in my opinion) Agatha Raisin. Rose is more of a well-rounded character than the still slightly shadowy Harry who seems to be very much a sidekick rather than sharing top billing with his “fiancée”. There is a lot in here to enjoy and I do hope that this series is extended beyond its current four volumes.

The Book

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
September 2010
1849012911 / 9781849012911
Historical Mystery / Edwardian London and environs
More at Amazon US || UK
NOTE: US edition is different, and listed under Marion Chesney

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010