Shadows in Time (Kendra Donovan Mystery Series)

Written by Julie McElwain
Review by Bonnie DeMoss

What’s an FBI agent to do when she finds herself displaced over 200 years in the past? Investigate crime, of course. Shadows in Time is the fifth book in the Kendra Donovan series. Kendra is a 21st-century FBI agent who suddenly found herself displaced in 19th-century London. Now she is a ward of the Duke of Aldridge and accepted into elite circles, where she finds herself dabbling in her old occupation. Kendra is investigating the disappearance of a local brewery employee at the request of the brewery owner, who is, surprisingly, a woman. In addition, the Duke’s long-lost daughter, always presumed dead, has returned. Is she really who she says she is? Kendra, accompanied by Sam Kelly, Bow Street Runner, and Alec, the Marquis of Sutcliffe, fervently pursues both mysteries, using her skills as an FBI agent. Although this is the fifth book in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel.

This is a historical mystery more than a time-travel novel, as the time traveling was done earlier in the series. Kendra seems to have accepted her life in the 1800s, except for occasionally bemoaning the absence of Google and DNA analysis. The characters are well developed and engaging. The investigations are compelling and well-paced, and life in 1815 London is described in interesting detail. We are reminded of the restrictions put on women back then, as Kendra has to have a chaperone everywhere she goes. The two mysteries Kendra is trying to solve are complex and not easily predictable. Wonderful nuggets of history abound in the book, and a romance has developed as well. If you enjoy historical fiction, mysteries, or stories with a dash of romance and time travel, you will like this novel.