It's Mystery Monday on The Princess and the Pen, where I highlight a few mystery novels on my radar. I come across so many mysteries on Goodreads, from social media and word-of-mouth recommendations and Mystery Monday will feature a small selection of those. Some are debut authors, others well-established. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they might make my to-read mountain topple over! This week I have chosen the first book in a few historical mystery series.
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Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
"In the year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful mistress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead man on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born. For years, Mrs. Westerman has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is the home of a once- great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, a man haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War. The same day, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others."
A Most Dangerous Woman by L.M. Jackson
"When the mysterious Sarah Tanner opens her Dining and Coffee Rooms on the corner of Leather Lane and Liquorpond Street, her arrival amongst the poor market traders creates a stir. Few doubt that she has a past, but no one can possibly predict how it will return to haunt her. When an old friend is brutally murdered by the unlikeliest of assailants, Sarah Tanner is the only witness. Unable to turn to the police, she reluctantly finds herself drawn back into the dark underworld of the Victorian metropolis.Assisted by unlikely friends, dogged by the criminal machinations of the greatest gamester, felon, villain, swindler, and scoundrel in London, she must unravel a web of treachery and deceit that takes her from the gaming hells of Regent Street to the suburban heights of Upper Holloway, from the slums of St. Giles to the fast-flowing waters of the Thames. Relying on her wits and trading on her past, Sarah Tanner risks gambling her own life upon a desperate quest for justice and vengeance."
Murder on the Lusitania by Conrad Allen
"September 1907. George Porter Dillman sets sail from Liverpool on the Lusitania's maiden voyage. Hired by the ship's captain to pose as a passenger, George is in fact a private detective for the Cunard Line. In the first days of his voyage, George only has to deal with a few petty crimes. But then an expensive piece of jewelry is reported stolen and a body is found. Working quickly to solve both crimes, George makes an unusual friend, Genevieve Masefield, and the two uncover secrets aboard the ship that prove explosive."