Behind the Shattered Glass: A Lady Emily Mystery

Tasha Alexander. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-02470-1

In Alexander’s entertaining eighth Victorian mystery (after 2012’s Death in the Floating City), the recent birth of twin sons keeps amateur sleuth Lady Emily and her husband, intelligence agent Colin Hargreaves, at Anglemore, the Hargreaves Peak District estate, where the dramatic appearance of the mortally wounded Lord Montagu, their nearest neighbor, soon leads to a murder investigation. One suspect is the victim’s cousin Matilda, who loves Montagu Manor fiercely and hopes to inherit it, but the many women the peer has seduced or compromised have reason to wish him dead as well. Emily’s narrative alternates with a chronicle of life below stairs at Anglemore, where the servants hold valuable clues. Though some elements of a romance between a titled guest and housemaid feel implausible for the era, readers will relish Alexander’s lyrical evocation of British landscapes and her gift for crafting engaging characters. Boisterous adventurer Rodney Scolfield and Emily’s hidebound mother, Lady Bromley, are especially amusing. Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Associates. (Oct.)
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