Death At Epsom Downs
In this, the seventh book in a series by Robin Paige, pseudonym of the husband-and-wife team of Bill Albert and Susan Wittig Albert, Lord Charles Sheridan and his Irish-American wife Kate attend the Derby at Epsom Downs. Charles is invited to photograph the finish of the race; Kate shares a box with the (in)famous Lillie Langtry — actress, racehorse-owner, and mistress of the Prince of Wales. When a doped horse causes a fatal accident, the Jockey Club asks Charles to investigate.
The parts about nineteenth-century horse racing and the practice of doping, which was still legal at this time, are particularly interesting. As they have done in previous volumes in this series, the authors provide an epilogue with historical notes and a list of sources. However, this book did not hold my interest as much as the others, possibly because Charles and Kate are separated for much of the story. Also, Kate’s appearances are kept to a minimum, and I found that disappointing. In spite of these complaints, however, I enjoyed the book. I especially recommend it to fans of Anne Perry, although this series is much lighter in tone.