cover image The Secrets of Wishtide: A Laetitia Rodd Mystery

The Secrets of Wishtide: A Laetitia Rodd Mystery

Kate Saunders. Bloomsbury, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-63286-449-9

Laetitia Rodd, the narrator of this lively series debut set in 1850 from British author Saunders (Night Shall Overtake Us), was left in reduced circumstances by her clergyman husband’s death. Now living with her working-class friend and landlady, Mary Bentley, in the London village of Hampstead, Laetitia conducts confidential inquiries for her barrister brother, Frederick Tyson, to supplement her income and exercise her quick wits. Influential peer Sir James Calderstone hires the siblings to investigate the background of Helen Orme, the beautiful but mysterious widow whom his son, Charles, wants to marry against James’s wishes. In the guise of a governess, Laetitia travels to Wishtide, the Calderstone Lincolnshire estate, where she discovers that not only Mrs. Orme but the Calderstones themselves are hiding scandalous secrets. When Mrs. Orme is found murdered and Charles is accused, Laetitia strives to save him from the gallows. Saunders explores Victorian sexual mores in a well-evoked historical world marred only by some overly complicated subplots. [em]Agent: Caradoc King, United Agents (U.K.). (Sept.) [/em]