The Keeper of Secrets
This is certainly much more than a run-of-the-mill historical crime novel. A young and idealistic clergyman, the Reverend Tobias Campion, arrives in his new parish, a Warwickshire village. His first act is to save a servant girl from rape by a drunken aristocrat. But that is by no means the end of the affair. Murders follow, and the mystery deepens. It turns out that there is much more to this servant girl than appears on the surface. Both the period and characters are well realized, and there is an interesting and illuminating description of the treatment of mental illness at this time. The story takes unexpected twists and turns, and the ending took me completely by surprise.
This is a standalone novel, rather than the first in a series. Yet by the end I found myself wanting to read more about this engaging young clergyman.