The Quality of Mercy

Written by David Roberts
Review by Vicki Kondelik

The Quality of Mercy is the latest entry in the mystery series featuring a seemingly unlikely pair: British aristocrat Lord Edward Corinth and Communist journalist Verity Browne. In 1938, Verity is on assignment in Austria, but Hitler’s takeover of the country forces her to leave. Before her departure, she and Edward help a young Jewish man, Georg Dreiser, escape to England. Georg knows of German plans to build an atomic bomb, and intends to report to the British government. But he is found dead at Lord Mountbatten’s estate, Broadlands, not long after Edward’s nephew had found the body of a painter during a weekend party there. The police treat both deaths as accidents, but Edward and Verity are not so sure. While they investigate, Verity finally realizes what her friends have known for a long time: that she loves Edward.

This is the first book I had read in this series, and I found it delightful, although one scene is perhaps more disturbing than you would expect to find in a light mystery. Roberts depicts the attitudes of the times, especially the sympathy towards the Nazis among certain members of the British aristocracy, very effectively.