The Blackstone Key
Mary Finch receives an invitation from a rich, estranged uncle to meet him at White Ladies, his estate on the Suffolk coast. Mary’s own circumstances have been somewhat wanting, so she courageously sets off on her own with her uncle’s letter determined to mend the twenty-year family rift.
In 1795 such a journey is perilous enough for a young woman travelling on her own. However, Mary’s journey will become a greater adventure than she could have possibly envisaged. A roadside accident results in a man dying; he whispers strange warnings to her. Mary also discovers he carries her uncle’s watch. With no answers to her growing number of questions, she is saddened to learn on arrival at her destination that her uncle has already died. She is helped by two men, and confides in both as they try to find out the significance of the Blackstone Key.
Mary is naïve about the world, but intelligent, knowledgeable about legal issues and gifted at analytical thinking. Her determination to solve the puzzle leads her into a lonely place where she does not know who she can trust. Fate draws her into the path of smugglers, and worse, the sinister world of espionage. But who is the traitor? She has stumbled into a world where nothing is as it seems. In the midst of this she has a growing fondness for one of her helpers.
The novel starts off in a gentle manner and increases in pace and action as the story progresses and the mystery builds. Readers who love period detail, whether in costume, fact, language or law, will revel in this book. Although predominantly a mystery, it has the contrast of a gentle romance building within it. Ultimately, it has an exciting, action-packed and satisfying ending.