Young widow Charlotte Richmond
is now living a quiet and respectable life in a small Hampshire
town, but once she led a more adventurous life in her native
Australia. It is 1858 and nearly Christmas. She will be spending
it with her late (fortunately) husband’s relations.
There is a christening to attend, a dying friend to spend
time with, a job offer to consider and of course a murder
or two to solve (or prevent).
An enjoyable series featuring a resourceful and lively heroine
and amusing escapades. It can be classified as a cozy, of
the sort that combines a house party with goings-on in a picturesque
village. Charlotte gets to meet Florence Nightingale, meet
up with a former acquaintance that knows about her past and
enjoy a Victorian Christmas. There is a good period ambience
in this novel, which wears its research lightly but nonetheless
appears grounded in the 1850s. The author is knowledgeable
about how people behaved, what they wore and did and this
adds a dimension to the book that is sadly missing in many
other historical novels. Plenty happens too, happy and tragic,
amusing and exciting and it was exactly the right length,
leaving me hoping that the next one won’t be too long
in the offing. Highly recommended to anybody in search of
a good murder mystery with a 19th century setting.