cover image Shadow of the Raven: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery

Shadow of the Raven: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery

Tessa Harris. Kensington, $15 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7582-9339-8

More romantic thriller than whodunit, Harris’s fifth Thomas Silkstone novel set in late 18th-century England focuses on Silkstone’s efforts to reunite with his love, Lady Lydia Farrell. At the end of 2014’s The Lazarus Curse, Lydia was confined to London’s Bethlem Hospital through the machinations of her late brother’s guardian, Sir Montagu Malthus, and a crooked physician. Almost two months later, Silkstone is still unable to see her on his visits to the facility, and is later barred from the premises. By portraying Malthus as a clichéd villain, without any nuance or depth, Harris renders the confrontations between him and Silkstone superficial and unengaging. While Silkstone has the fatal shooting of surveyor Jeffrey Turgoose to solve, the relegation of the mystery to the background and an unsatisfying ending serve to make this the weakest entry in an otherwise strong series. Agent: Melissa Jeglinski, Knight Agency. (Feb.)