The Lady and the Highwayman

Shadow Mountain. (Victorian, Bk. 2). Sept. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9781629726052. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781629737928. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Fletcher Walker, author of the day’s most successful penny dreadfuls, has never forgotten his origins. As a member of the Dread Penny Society, he uses his earnings to help make the streets a cleaner and safer place to live. When he learns a new upstart named Charles King is eating away at his top spot and therefore his contributions to the society, he sets out on a quest that leads him to Elizabeth Black, a headmistress at a local girl’s school and author of respectable silver-fork novels. Her commitment to causes similar to those Fletcher advocates for intrigues him, but he also senses that Elizabeth knows more than she’s letting on about the identity of the mystery author. In fact, she is writing the popular works in question, but if her secret were revealed, her own reputation and that of her school would be ruined. Drawn to Fletcher’s intellect as much as his gorgeous looks, Elizabeth finds it increasingly difficult to refuse his invitation to help track down the elusive King.
VERDICT Eden’s latest entry in the “Victorian” series (after Ashes on the Moor) is a joy to read, filled with adventure, suspense, two characters longing for love but protective of their secrets. Two original penny dreadfuls interspersed throughout make this story even more impressive.
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