Friends in High Places: A Liberty Lane Mystery

Caro Peacock. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8505-0

A crackerjack plot and engaging characters make Peacock’s seventh Liberty Lane mystery (after 2013’s The Path of the Wicked) her best yet. On Sept. 1, 1840, Liberty, a private investigator who has done sleuthing work for high-up government officials, receives a summons from Lady Marguerite Blessington to Gore House, her London mansion. Monsieur Lesparre, one of the plotters involved in a recent failed coup attempt by Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Prince Louis, has taken refuge at Gore House. Lesparre seeks to return to France to provide evidence that will help Prince Louis, but the French government isn’t eager for him to do so. Lady Blessington, alarmed by some odd incidents that suggest an attempt to abduct her secret guest, asks Liberty to make arrangements to smuggle him out of England. The discovery of a corpse at Gore House and the subsequent murder investigation considerably complicate Liberty’s efforts. Peacock (the pen name of Gillian Linscott) makes the political intrigue of the period feel immediate and her stalwart, progressive lead plausible. (Aug.)
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