Set in 1919, Ison’s earnest 14th Hardcastle and Marriott historical (after 2016’s Hardcastle’s Collector) charts the effects of the Great War’s end on England: unemployment, strikes, rationing, and radical changes in expectations of a woman’s place in society. Against this backdrop, and while preparing for his daughter’s wedding, Det. Insp. Ernest Hardcastle, head of the CID for the Whitehall Division of London’s Metropolitan Police—assisted by his intelligent and long-suffering sidekick, Det. Sgt. Charles Marriott—looks into the disappearance of Lily Musgrave, the 17-year-old daughter of a wealthy MP. Lily has embraced the flapper style of dress and mores with abandon, kohling her eyes, shortening her skirts, and consorting with cads. Lily eventually surfaces alive and well, but then goes missing again. Hardcastle threatens and cajoles his way through lies and misdirection until he literally digs up the truth. The book’s villain comes somewhat out of left field, but Hardcastle, crusty and arrogant but astute, is a memorable lead. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2017 Release date: 06/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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