Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
London 1815. Newly widowed Lily Adler returns to a society that frowns on independent women, but she’s no stranger to the glittering world of London’s upper crust. At a ball throw by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandals, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn’t expect, is the dead body in Lady Walter’s garden.
Lily happened to overhear the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail, but she’s willing to leave the matter to the local constables, until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused Lily realizes she’s the only one with the key to catching the killer.
Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend’s husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London’s social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the killer’s next target.
My third book of 2020, and another pretty cover. I’m happy to say that after a slightly slow beginning, The Body In The Garden more than lives up to its appealing packaging.
The best way to describe Lily Adler is to say she’s like a female Sherlock Holmes, only without his annoying attributes. She could have come across as too good to be true, but the author skillfully makes her likable and relatable whilst also being a woman very much ahead of her time. Captain Jack Hartley and Ofelia Oswald are equally appealing and well-rounded characters who perfectly complete the team. I’m looking forward to seeing how the relationship between them continues to develop in subsequent books. While I’m not a historian, I think Schellman credibly captures Regency London in her physical descriptions and the way Society worked. Best of all, the mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing as to the villain’s identity almost right up to the very end.
Overall, The Body In The Garden is a promising beginning to this new historical mystery series. I highly recommend this to fans of the genre, particularly if you like authors such as Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander.