A Dangerous Affair

Written by Caro Peacock
Review by Lisa Ann Verge

A Dangerous Affair, an elegant mystery novel set in early Victorian London, is the second installment in a series involving a very unconventional female sleuth by the name of Liberty Lane.

After the death of her father, Liberty struggles to make a respectable life for herself in London, working as a music teacher. But when a famous actress is poisoned, and a young dancer of her acquaintance is accused of the crime, Liberty finds herself drawn into an investigation that becomes more complicated by the day. Between music lessons and morning rides on her beloved horse, Liberty negotiates London’s elegant neighborhoods as well as its slums, rubbing shoulders with prominent politicians as well as prostitutes, all in an effort to track down lost witnesses and unusual clues. Time grows short after the young dancer is sentenced to hang, and Liberty—with the help of a few good friends—must take great risks in an attempt to catch the real murderer.

Caro Peacock reveals an intricate working knowledge of late 1830s London in this lithe and well-plotted story, revealing through detail—of clothes, cost, and class-consciousness—how very awkward Liberty’s position is, as a reputable single woman in a dangerous town, and how well she manages nonetheless. Bravo to this talented author: A Dangerous Affair is the perfect combination of charming characters, a frisson of romance, and a well-crafted mystery.