Murder in Drury Lane

Kensington. (Lady Worthing, Bk. 2). Oct. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781496738677. $27. M
A night at the Drury Lane Theater ends with unexpected drama when a budding playwright is found dead in the prop room. Lady Abigail Worthing takes it upon herself to find the truth behind the crime, with the reluctant help of her neighbor Stapleton Henderson. The pair begin to uncover a tangled web of gambling debts, an actress with numerous suitors, and a struggle for the fate of the theater, and the mystery takes a personal turn when Abigail learns that one of the key suspects is a leading advocate for the abolishment of slavery in the British empire—a cause Abigail also fights for. Riley’s prose is elegant and evocative, transporting readers to the opulent world of the Regency era. In a time when Black and mixed-race people were marginalized and overlooked, the author brings these voices to the forefront through vibrant and well-developed characters. Readers will enjoy the Bridgerton-esque setting and dialogue and will keep working to uncover the clues.
VERDICT Combining elements of an Agatha Christie–style whodunit with the vivid portrayal of a more encompassing view of Regency-era England, the second Lady Worthing mystery (following Murder in Westminster) does not disappoint.
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