Quest for a Killer

Written by Alanna Knight

This is the fifth novel featuring private investigator Rose McQuinn, daughter of Inspector Faro. The circus is in town, and Rose is wondering whether two suicides were what they seem, or actually a couple of murders. There has also been a bank robbery that resulted in another fatality, and rather oddly, Rose has a new friend from a very different walk of life. Elma Rice, wife of legendary philanthropist Felix Miles Rice, seems to find Rose’s company irresistible, while ex-fiancé Jack McMerry puts in a not entirely welcome appearance.

Here is another highly readable tale with Rose herself as a lively and interesting narrator. Parts of the plot are easy to guess, but I certainly didn’t unravel it all and there is a lot packed into a reasonably modest number of pages. As usual with this series, there is a supernatural element in the canine shape of Thane, who can be relied upon to come to the rescue like a sort of ghostly Lassie. Like Rose’s narration, this does provide an element that Victorian readers would have enjoyed but it does create some unnecessarily tidy endings that seem a cop-out when compared with what would truly have happened. Read this series for the engaging plots, and some sense of Edinburgh in 1899.