Death on the Lizard
Death on the Lizard is the twelfth Lord and Lady Sheridan mystery by Robin Paige (the husband-and-wife team of Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert). In 1903, Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the wireless telegraph, asks Lord Charles Sheridan, a wireless enthusiast himself, to investigate the suspicious deaths of two telegraph operators at Marconi stations on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. The second victim had been working on a new invention: a device to tune out interference from competing telegraph signals. When the device and the inventor’s notebook describing it are stolen, Charles realizes that the operators did not die by accident, as had been thought. Meanwhile, his American wife, Kate, goes to Cornwall to visit the grieving Lady Loveday, whose ten-year-old daughter has drowned. She soon discovers that the child’s death may have been linked to the murders at the Marconi station.
I have always enjoyed this series, and this volume is no exception. The authors’ descriptions of the new technology, the competition between various telegraph companies, and the Cornwall villagers’ fears that the wireless will disrupt their lives are all very compelling, and it is easy to draw parallels with today’s technology, especially cell phones and the Internet.