Snobbery with Violence
This is the debut novel in veteran author Chesney’s new Edwardian mystery series. At its center is the detective duo of Lady Rose Summer, a suffragette sympathizer, and Boer War veteran Captain Harry Cathcart. They meet when he informs her father that the man Lady Rose hopes to marry is not what he seems.
Rose’s parents seek to distract her by sending her to a house party. There she once again encounters Captain Cathcart, who has arrived to discreetly investigate a murder. Not one to sit by and observe, Rose joins in the search for the murderer, much to the Captain’s distress.
Ms. Chesney has crafted a solid mystery, peopled with a fascinating array of characters. Though a little too much time is spent setting things up, once the murder takes place, the pace picks up. Interesting period details add welcome touches of authenticity, but from time to time their inclusion seems a little forced. The relationship between Rose and Harry is fraught with friction, especially after an attempt is made on Rose’s life. Yet there are also hints of a blossoming romance between them.