A Pretty Deceit

Kensington. (Verity Kent, Bk. 4). Sept. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781496728470. pap. $15.95. M
In 1919, her father asks Verity Kent and her husband, Sidney, to check on his sister, who is complaining about the condition of the family estate, Littlemote House. She claims it’s in a shambles and that valuable artworks have been appraised as forgeries. She blames the airmen who were billeted there during the war. The crumbling house is not the Kents’ priority, however. A maid is missing, the man who tends the gardens is found dead, and his wife is accused of his murder. Verity and Sidney are supposed to be investigating the family issues, but they’re more concerned about Lord Ardmore, whom they suspect is a traitor. Verity and Sidney gather allies to work on clues the deceased Lord Ryde left about Ardmore’s treachery, But they’re followed and threatened. They don’t know whom to trust in a complex mystery that circles back to Littlemote and to Verity’s actions at the front a year earlier.
VERDICT Verity Kent plays a dangerous game of espionage in a story set just several weeks after Penny for Your Secrets. The ongoing story line involving Ardmore will intrigue series readers. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd will appreciate the psychological and social issues affecting the British after World War I
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