Our Lady of Pain
The fourth installment in this post-Edwardian mystery series finds Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart still pretending to be engaged to spare her from being sent to India to find a husband. Naturally, the two are actually in love, but God forbid they should reveal that to each other. When Harry, a private investigator, takes on the courtesan Dolores Duval as a client, Rose can’t suppress her jealousy. After an impetuous outburst at the opera, she threatens the other woman’s life. Rose becomes the obvious suspect in her murder when she later visits Dolores, only to find her dead, and quite foolishly picks up the pistol used to shoot her.
Although I had hoped after the third book that this one would find these two silly kids honest with themselves and legitimately engaged, my amusement outweighed my exasperation. There is momentum of a sort as Rose’s companion, Daisy, and Harry’s manservant, Beckett, finally tie the knot. One can only hope that Harry and Rose will soon follow suit. With trips to Scotland and Paris to either evade or track down killers, there’s a madcap feel to this tale. As usual, the mystery itself pales beside the characters: stern nuns, indifferent parents, and capricious old ladies. Chesney has staked her claim on the 1920s. Bring on the fifth installment!