And Dangerous to Know (Rosalind Thorne Mystery)

Written by Darcie Wilde
Review by India Edghill

Regency London boasts a dazzling high society, but the daughter of a scandalous bankrupt disappears from the ton balls, no longer rides in the Park, and becomes invisible to most of her former friends. Lady Rosalind Thorne is one such unfortunate; she ekes out a living by acting as a useful woman; respectable enough to act as a chaperon, companion, or secretary to aristocratic ladies in exchange for “presents” (usually cash)—a mode of life that keeps Rosalind both eating and living indoors. When a dead woman is found on the grounds of Melbourne House, Rosalind becomes involved when her friend, Bow Street Runner Adam Harkness, seeks her aid. This isn’t the first time Rosalind has assisted in finding the truth behind a crime—and since her current employer is Lady Melbourne: chatelaine of Melbourne House, mother of a future Prime Minister, mother-in-law to the dazzlingly unstable Lady Caroline Lamb, and former lover of the Prince of Wales. Lady Melbourne thinks Rosalind is acting as her companion as a cover for finding a missing packet of passionate letters from that “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” poseur-poet, Lord Byron—Lady Caroline’s former lover. Time is of the essence since either the letters or the murder could cause an explosive scandal.

Getting an insider’s view of “that Melbourne House set” was enough to pull me right into the story. Wilde has a sure hand on the reins of her prose, which results in a fast-paced and enjoyable story. And while a few things didn’t sound “Regency” to me, it wasn’t enough to dim my enjoyment of a whirl through London’s upper crust and lower half. It’s the third in a series, and I’m certainly going to read the other two books.