Murder at the Opera

Crooked Lane. (Atlas Catesby, Bk. 3). 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781643852355. $26.99. M
Atlas Catesby has just helped Lady Lilliana Warwick into the waiting coach after a night at Covent Garden when there are cries of murder. He runs to help, only to discover a woman has been shot in the face. The victim, a courtesan, was the mistress of Catesby’s former brother-in-law, the Marquess of Vessey. As a boy, Atlas swore Vessey had pushed Atlas’s sister, Phoebe, down the stairs and killed her. Now, the adventurer–turned–amateur sleuth vows to find Mrs. Pike’s killer. He’s certain Vessey killed a woman for the second time, but there’s something about Vessey’s actions upon learning of her death that bothers him. Together with Lilliana, Atlas questions his way through 1815 London, talking to gunsmiths, fruit vendors, and nobility. Despite a plea from Phoebe’s son to prove his father’s innocence, Atlas is determined to find the solution to the latest puzzle hidden behind the façade of polite society.
VERDICT This third “Atlas Catesby” mystery (following Murder in Bloomsbury) ties up several story lines. Fans of the series will welcome the latest developments, while readers of novels set in Regency England will relish the atmosphere of the period and well-developed characters.

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