by Dianne Freeman
The setting of this cozy mystery is Victorian England, London in the late summer of 1899, to be exact. This is the second volume of the Countess of Harleigh series. Frances Wynn, who is the American born Countess of Harleigh, becomes involved in a murder investigation. She is now a young widow who lives in a home in London with her daughter and staff. Most of London society is out of town spending the summer at their country estates. Upon the suspicious death of a socialite, Lady Harleigh becomes involved in the murder investigation at the request of her admirer and neighbor, George Hazelton. He has been asked to look into the murder. It seems as though many odd notes containing scandalous information have been found at the home of the deceased. George thinks that Lady Harleigh may be able to help him decipher the contents of the notes, as many include only initials and coded information. Also, the prime suspect turns out to be Frances’ cousin, Charles Evingdon, who had been courting the victim at the time of her death. Hence, George and Frances are determined to prove his innocence and find the true culprit. The story provides many twists and turns that successfully keep the reader engaged.