Murder in Mayfair

Written by D. M. Quincy
Review by Diane Scott Lewis

In 1814, adventurer Atlas Catesby sups at a country inn when he overhears a man who is selling his wife in the inn-yard. Catesby—the younger son of a baron and a man of honor—is astounded. To save the poor woman, he purchases her; his intention is to return her to her family. After discovering Lilliana has no family, he takes her to his sister’s in London. Lilliana is devastated to be separated from her children. Her husband is a scoundrel who refuses her access. Catesby grows anxious to return to his travels, yet he’s drawn to Lilliana and ponders her mysterious past. She’d married a tradesman, though she has the bearing of an aristocrat. When her husband is found murdered, a Bow Street Runner suspects Catesby of killing him. Catesby dives into the investigation to clear himself and the woman who had the most motive, and also tugs at his heart—Lilliana.

The story isn’t complex, but the characters are vivid, each one with a unique personality. Why Atlas never asks Lilliana about her background—she could have refused to answer—was another mystery. Formal address of high-born persons in this era is mostly overlooked. With wry humor and surprising twists at the end, Murder in Mayfair will please mystery fans. This book is the first in a series involving the worthy Atlas Catesby.