The Riddle of Alabaster Royal

Patricia Veryan, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-17121-6
Dashing good fun from genre master Veryan (The Lord and the Gypsy) in her best effort yet--a Regency that rises farther above the formula than her fine novels usually do. Home from the Napoleonic Wars, Captain John Vespa, called Jack, is looking forward to rest and relaxation at his ancestral home, Alabaster Royal. Instead he finds a purportedly haunted house; an eccentric Italian duchess and her granddaughter, the redoubtable (and lovely) Consuela Jones; a disreputable valet; surly local gentry; and an intriguing mystery. It seems Miss Jones believes her father not only died on Jack's property but was murdered there. Skeptical at first, Jack is slowly convinced that there may be something to this tale, especially after Consuela is brutally attacked in his cellar. Charming and droll, the story is further enlivened by well-drawn secondary characters. Skilled pacing and dramatization carry events along after Jack finds his unexpected guests. And the mystery remains a mystery nearly to the very end, with never a plot line dropped or a too-neat tie in sight. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-449-00134-9
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4668-8431-1
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