cover image Secrets in the Stones: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery

Secrets in the Stones: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery

Tessa Harris. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-9341-1

Set in 1784, Harris’s satisfying sixth Dr. Thomas Silkstone mystery (after 2015’s Shadow of the Raven) finds attorney Sir Montagu Malthus, who controls Lady Lydia Farrell’s estate, opposed to her relationship with the upstart Silkstone. When Lydia discovers Malthus dead in his Oxfordshire home, she becomes a suspect in his murder, along with the commoners who will be impoverished by Malthus’s plan to enclose estate lands. Silkstone investigates, finding odd clues, including an unfamiliar kind of rope and prints from a man’s slipper-like shoe. When the grave of Lydia’s first husband is robbed of the rare diamond ring with which he was buried, Silkstone guesses that the crimes link to the diamond’s complex history. Several murders ensure before Silkstone uncovers the surprising truth. Though the backstory can be overcomplicated, Harris’s rich portrayal of Indian influences on Britain, along with fresh twists in the protagonists’ romance, adds appeal. Agent: Melissa Jeglinski, Knight Agency. (Mar.)