No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries)
This novel, the first clearly intended to be part of a series, takes place in 1886. Lucy Lawrence, an intelligent, headstrong young woman, is living in London, having followed her emotions and married the man she fell in love with against her family’s wishes. Ten years later, her marriage and finances are in shambles. Lucy is disowned by her family, and her husband Charlie is mysteriously killed near their home when he was supposed to be away on a trip. After an investigation, Lucy discovers the man she fell in love with had been more of a stranger than she realized. His relationship with a notorious underworld figure clearly led to his death, but the search is on for the jewels he apparently hid. Lucy finds herself followed everywhere.
This novel is enticing and breezy and marked with lively characters. The author weaves an intricate web of deceit that runs not only through her husband but also her family, which she turns to after her husband’s death. Her apparent savior, Phineas Stone, is a sophisticated and independently wealthy man who has rejected his family business to be an investigator for various insurance companies. He has an eye for detail which proves to be critical to Lucy’s reputation and at times her freedom and safety. As the investigation continues, their attraction to each other grows stronger, but the betrayal by her husband and family weighs heavy.
A good read, despite a somewhat predictable ending.