A Ring of Truth: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel

Written by Michelle Cox
Review by B. J. Sedlock

In Depression-era Chicago, Henrietta Von Harmon is newly engaged to Inspector Clive Howard. Hen is overwhelmed when she visits his parents, since Clive had said little about his family’s wealth. How can an impoverished former taxi dancer be accepted into their rarified world? Hen is more comfortable talking to the servants than enduring tea with Clive’s parents. Distraction from these problems is provided when a retired servant claims someone stole her valuable ring. Henrietta tries to help, but her good intentions lead her into danger: the villain from the previous volume of the series is not through with her.

Though there is a mystery thread, the story concentrates more on the class differences theme. I enjoyed the author’s exploration of how intimidated Hen would feel at a society party, or being torn when she can’t help the servants with their tasks if she wants to please her future in-laws. The characters are well-drawn, with depth. Cox builds anticipation by foreshadowing issues that will come up in future volumes of the series. Hen and Clive’s romance is real and touching. I’m sorry the cliffhanger ending means I’ll be kept waiting to find out what happens to the characters next.