A True and Faithful Brother

Written by Linda Stratmann
Review by Lisa Redmond

The Frances Doughty Mysteries are now well established, and although this is volume seven in the series, it is easily accessible as a stand-alone novel. The young lady detective Frances Doughty has decided not to investigate any more criminal mysteries because of the violent events recounted in an earlier novel; instead, she is mostly limiting herself to enquiries into long-lost family members and family trees. However, she takes on an intriguing case at the request of her old acquaintance Mr. Fiske, who is baffled by the disappearance of his friend Lancelot Dobree from a locked room during a meeting of the Bayswater Literati Freemasons’ Lodge.

Unknown to Mr. Fiske, Frances has a family connection to Mr. Dobree, and so she begins her investigation and soon makes a grisly discovery. As it becomes clear that Mr. Dobree has been making some enquiries of his own and that he had been viciously attacked, Frances is at first reluctant to involve herself in another criminal case, but her curiosity gets the better of her and, reunited with family members she believed were lost to her forever, she becomes increasingly entangled in a web of jewel thievery, murder and intrigue and in increasing danger herself. This is a page-turning tale full of glorious detail of Victorian life at all levels of society. The plot is complex and intelligent and will leave even the aficionado of murder mysteries guessing. A perfect choice for fans of Alex Grecian, Kate Griffin and Oscar de Muriel.