Straw in the Wind
In this mid-Victorian novel, detective Adam Chapman is hired by Dorset sea captain Erasmus Thornton to discover whether his lover’s child, whom he thought dead at birth along with her mother, is actually alive. Chapman tracks Serafina Finn to her new post in Somerset as housekeeper with the blind Finch Leighton, but finds himself falling in love with this young woman with an uncertain past. For her part, Serafina has only blurred memories of her unhappy childhood as an orphan. She has made a new life for herself at Leighton Manor; can she risk leaving it for a man she hardly knows and a family at odds over whether to accept a half-sister whose birth tore them apart?
Although this is intended as a stand-alone sequel to Salting the Wound, I felt I would have understood the minor characters better had I read the previous novel. That aside, Straw in the Wind offers a cozy read with plenty of subplots and happy endings.