Dance with Death

Will Thomas. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-62477-2

Set in 1893, Thomas’s enjoyable 12th mystery featuring private inquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn (after 2019’s Lethal Pursuit) finds London awhirl with preparations for the wedding of Prince George and Princess Mary of Teck. Royal relations from Europe have come to celebrate the nuptials, including Nicholas, the son and heir of the Russian czar. Boxer Jim Hercules, a real-life Black man who served as a bodyguard to Nicholas, arrives at the offices of Barker and Llewelyn asking for their help in protecting the future czar. Their services are hampered by Nicholas’s caprices, the Russian secret police, a ballerina with her eye on the throne, and an assassin known only as La Sylphide. Among the many historical figures who enliven the plot are Eleanor Marx, daughter of Karl, and William Morris, textile designer and confirmed Socialist. Thomas expertly entwines historical details, exciting action sequences, and a tender love story. This ripping yarn is sure to please series fans and garner new enthusiasts. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Apr.)