The Crimson Cavalier
Pre-Regency London is the setting for this debut novel by Mary Andrea Clarke. Sir Robert Foster, whose reputation is far from unblemished, is murdered. Suspicion falls on the Crimson Cavalier, but Georgina Grey, a young lady of independent means and her own establishment, knows otherwise. She is determined to investigate, which she does with the connivance of her loyal maid Emily and Max Lakesby, guardian of Louise one of the Cavalier’s victims. Georgina’s determination leads her into personal danger and even uncovers a side to her pompous brother Edward’s life that she would never have imagined possible.
This is a delightful and entertaining novel with an engrossing plot. It is written in a style that flows for the reader, but takes a lot of effort on the part of the writer to achieve. The author has also created an interesting collection of characters. Georgina is a heroine who is willing to step outside the confines of her role as an 18th century woman to become a female investigator, but who is also very much aware of the conventions of her day with its round morning calls and evening parties. No doubt even Georgette Heyer would have given her stamp of approval to Miss Knatchbull, the poor relative foisted on Georgina to act as her chaperone, the pretty empty-headed Louisa, and the youthful Tom, with his aspirations to become a highwayman. Regency fans will be clamouring at the publisher’s door for the next one.