The Blood Royal: A Joe Sandilands Murder Mystery

Barbara Cleverly. Soho Constable, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-56947-987-2
Set in 1922, Cleverly's ninth whodunit featuring Scotland Yard Cmdr. Joe Sandilands (after 2010's Strange Images of Death) falls short of her usual high standard. Feisty Lilian Wentworth, a female police constable, is slated for termination due to budget cuts when Sandilands finds her foiling a kidnapper at London's Paddington Station. Instead of being bounced, Wentworth is tapped for a covert assignment whose details Sandilands keeps close to his chest. His own professional standing is in peril after an official he was responsible for protecting, Admiral Lord Dedham, is gunned down on his doorstep, apparently by Irish assassins. Wentworth manages to gain the confidence of Dedham's bereaved widow, Cassandra, even as evidence emerges that the gunmen apprehended after the murder weren't acting alone. Wentworth makes a less engaging sidekick than Sandilands's honorary niece, Dorcas Joliffe, and the frisson of romance between Sandilands and Wentworth detracts from, rather than enhances, the plot. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 398 pages - 978-1-61695-163-4
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-56947-988-9
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-84901-996-5
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