The Sign of Death

Crooked Lane. (Victorian Book Club Mystery, Bk. 2). Apr. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781643855820. $26.99. M
In Bath, England, in early 1891, William, Viscount Wethington, receives two pieces of horrifying news. The police want him to identify a drowned body they suspect is James Harding, William’s man of business. At first glance, that’s not as scary as the second piece of news: William’s mother is giving up her house in London, and is coming to live with him. However, when two bumbling police officers investigate Harding’s death as murder, they pinpoint Wethington as the primary suspect. He knew something was off, but not that Harding had been stealing from him and forging his name on business contracts. In desperation, he turns to his friend Lady Amy Lovell, a fellow member of a mystery book club, for assistance. While the two plunge into the investigation together, their close companionship convinces their parents that Lord Wethington and Lady Amy are destined for marriage. Maybe a marriage will be forthcoming, unless William becomes one of those rare peers of the realm to be hanged as a murderer.
VERDICT The follow-up to A Study in Murder is a fun, character-driven mystery with two unconventional amateur sleuths. The emphasis on Victorian lifestyle in a humorous cozy should satisfy fans of atmospheric historical mysteries.
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