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The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

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The Secret of Pembrooke Parksecretofpembrookepark

1817 – England

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister. Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play… The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure. This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house. Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?

The Abbot’s Agreement by Mel Starr

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1368 –  England

My life would have been more tranquil in the days after Martinmas had I not seen the crows. Whatever it was that the crows had found lay in the dappled shadow of the bare limbs of the oak, so I was nearly upon the thing before I recognized what the crows were feasting upon. The corpse wore black. Master Hugh is making his way towards Oxford when he discovers the young Benedictine – a fresh body, barefoot – not half a mile from the nearby abbey. The abbey’s novice master confirms the boy’s identity: John, one of three novices. But he had gone missing four days previously, and his corpse is fresh. There has been plague in the area, but this was not the cause of death: the lad has been stabbed in the back. To Hugh’s sinking heart, the abbot has a commission for him …

One Dark Night by Anna Faversham

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One Dark Nightonedarknight

1821 – England

It is 1821 and smuggling is rife on the English coast. Lucy Yorton, dragged away from her privileged early life, finds it impossible to know who to trust, while those around her suspect she is a spy and treat her accordingly. Her problems increase when two men enter her life.

Lieutenant Karl Thorsen, sworn to avenge the death of his father, is a King’s man. He is determined to stop the violent smugglers, hang them, and hang and gibbet one in particular.

Daniel Tynton has smuggling in his blood. Undaunted by Thorsen’s threats, he is respected and feared. When he witnesses a murder, he makes a bold decision, and many lives will never be the same.

Murder at Mikado by Julianna Deering

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Murder at Mikadomurderatthemikado

1930s – England

When a CELEBRATED ACTOR IS FOUND MURDERED IN HIS DRESSING ROOM, All signs point to Drew’s Old Flame. But Behind the Curtains nothing is what it seems and this Quickly Becomes his MOST puzzling case YET. Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has calmed down some, Fleur Landis, a former girlfriend, reappears, in dire need of his help. She’s married now, no longer an actress–but the lead actor in her former troupe’s production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police’s number one suspect. Drew would rather focus on his fiancée, Madeline Parker, and their upcoming wedding, but he can’t leave Fleur and her family in the lurch–even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline begin investigating, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. It seems nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. Both the murder case and the presence of the beautiful, exotic Fleur put a heavy strain on Drew and Madeline’s relationship. Will their still-young romance survive the pressure?

Truth Be Told by Carol Cox

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truthbetoldTruth Be Told

1893 – Arizona

When Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father’s newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper’s commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences. Her father’s revealing articles about Great Western Investment Company’s business methods have caught the notice of the wrong person, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father’s statements. Determined to find the truth, Amelia goes through her father’s notes and begins to interview members of the community. She can’t seem to shake Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who’s been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company. The more Ben and Amelia learn, the more Amelia’s father’s claims appear to be accurate. In fact, it’s probably worse than he realized. Even Ben is beginning to wonder if he’s become a pawn in the workings of a corrupt empire. But Great Western isn’t about to stand for a female reporter and one of their own men bringing down their lucrative schemes. Working against time, and never knowing what danger lurks around the next corner, Ben and Amelia set out to reveal all they’ve discovered before Great Western silences them for good.

Death by the Book by Julianna Deering

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Death by the Bookdeathbythebook

1932 – England

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest. Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl’s tearful confession point to the victim’s double life, but what does the solicitor’s murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem–except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin. Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn’t at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy by David Fessenden

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The Case of the Exploding Speakeasyexplodingspeakeasy

1920s – Pennsylvania

Thomas Watson left London two years ago and crossed the Atlantic to become a newspaper reporter in Philadelphia 1920s Philadelphia, a city that rivals Al Capone’s Chicago for its crime and corruption. Why would he go so far from family and friends? Admittedly, he was trying to get away – away from the shadow of his famous father, Dr. John Watson, and his father s even more famous friend, Sherlock Holmes.

Shortly after Thomas leaves London, Sherlock dies, and Dr. Watson takes on the responsibility of caring for Sherlock’s older brother, Mycroft. After two short years in which Thomas finds little success in journalism, Dr. Watson dies suddenly; though Thomas stands to inherit his father’s estate, he is also saddled with the responsibility of Mycroft, who has mysteriously shown up in Philadelphia, ready to move in. Puzzled by this strange turn of events, Thomas takes a walk and suddenly finds himself caught up in the biggest story of his career a suspicious explosion at a speakeasy, which kills the owner and his card-playing buddies.

The principal suspect of the police is Basil Meridan, a former British butler whom Thomas befriends and Mycroft hires as a servant. Needled into making a bet with a rival reporter that he can solve the mystery, Thomas is immediately hampered in his investigation by his editor, who fires him for spending too much time on a dead-end story. As he attempts to recover from this setback, he is escorted against his will to a meeting with bootlegger Boo Boo Hoff and his goons. They also want to know who the killer is, and provide their own unique encouragement for Thomas to find the solution to the mystery. All this makes it necessary to for him to solve the mystery, or lose his money, his job, maybe even his life. From the scanty clues that Thomas compiles, Mycroft is able to solve the mystery, but he is tight-lipped about the solution after all, Thomas should be able to figure it out himself! But can Thomas discover the murderer before he becomes his next victim?

Rest Not in Peace by Mel Starr

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1368 – England

Master Hugh is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry, (with his wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants), has outstayed his welcome at Bampton Castle. The next morning after Master Hugh provides the potion, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, the target of the wife’s wrath, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death …

The Tainted Coin by Mel Starr

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1367 – England

Master Hugh is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton, when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew’s Chapel. The dying man is a chapman — a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man’s mouth. Master Hugh’s quest for the chapman’s assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, make steady progress “ but there are men of wealth and power who wish to halt his search, and an old nemesis in league with them. Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers, and the source of the chapman’s coin. They do, but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk …

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

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Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery Book #1)rulesofmurder

1932 – England

Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie in This Sparkling Mystery Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels. Soon, financial irregularities at Drew’s stepfather’s company come to light and it’s clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this game.

Diamond in the Rough by Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson

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Diamond in the Rough (Charm & Deceit)diamondintherough

1861 – California

Grant Diamond is a professional gambler on the run from his past. When he comes across a wagon wreck, the chance to escape his pursuers is too good a gamble to pass up, and he assumes the identity of the dead wagon driver. His plan takes an unexpected turn when local heiress Lily Rose mistakes him for the missionary she had asked to come work with the Wiyot Indians. Seeing Eureka as a promising place to lay low, Grant plays along. Before he knows it, he’s bluffing his way through sermons and building an Indian school. But with a Pinkerton on his trail and a rancher rousing fresh hatred against the Indians, Grant fears the new life he’s built may soon crumple like a house of cards.

Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay

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capturedbymoonlightCaptured by Moonlight (Twilight of the British Raj)

1921 – India

Prisoners to their own broken dreams… After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts. Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…but fun-loving Laine refuses to let Adam crush her heart like he had years ago. Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love that had begun to flower. Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

Mystery of the Heart by Jillian Kent

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mysteryoftheheartMystery of the Heart (The Ravensmoore Chronicles)

1819 – England

Lady Mercy Grayson has secretly been studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has dressed as a man to pursue the same passion her big brother Devlin, Lord Ravensmoore, pursued outside the acceptance of society. Her secret has been discovered. Now she’s running away from Scotland and her dreams. Will she be able to accomplish what she feels is God’s calling, or will the parameters of society and those who want to use her secret to accomplish their own selfish ends determine the course of her future?

Vincent Lyons, Lord Eden, is an adventurer coming home to London to deliver the mysterious Holy Lance to the prince regent who wants to see if the legends are true surrounding this relic that is said to possess both the power of healing and destruction. His life is catapulted in another direction when he meets Mercy who is pursuing a different kind of adventure that will cause him to question everything he believes.

Both will be forced to examine their personal motives when members of a voudon tribe, the Regent, and the London Legend Seekers Club search to possess the ancient relic for their own purposes.

A Tincture of Murder by Donna Fletcher Crow

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A Tincture of Murder (A Lord Danvers Mystery)atinctureofmurder

Victorian England

The case begins when several of the destitute women who took refuge at The Magdalen House—an “Asylum for Poor, Degraded Females”—die under mysterious circumstances.

The Magdalen House—located in a notorious slum of the City of York—was established by Frederick Danvers, Lord Charles’s younger brother, who shocked the family by taking Holy Orders, and then by choosing to live near his church in one of the poorest neighborhoods in England.

But the cleric’s saintly works may come to a scandalous end when news of the women’s deaths spreads. The young Danvers is in trouble and Danvers family honor is at stake.

At first, Lord Danvers is reluctant to get involved in a criminal matter that seems so sordid. But when a devastating fire ravages Norwood Park, the Danver’s ancestral home, Charles and Antonia are forced to seek temporary residence elsewhere. Freddie’s plea for assistance includes an invitation to stay at elegant Wandseley Hall. Charles reconsiders—and soon finds himself struggling to answer two overarching questions: Are the unexplained deaths the result of natural causes? Or is an insane poisoner at large in York—perhaps a madman among Charles and Antonia’s own acquaintances?

While Charles investigates, Lady Antonia is drawn into helping feed the impoverished women and children living in the asylum.

And death is closer to home than anyone suspected. Was a servant’s untimely death an accident as first believed? Or something more sinister? And who set the fire that nearly destroyed Norwood Park? 

The Yellow Packard by Ace Collins

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The Yellow Packardtheyellowpackard

1937 -Illinois

Buckle up for intrigue and adventure in scenic Depression-era America. George Hall, a draftsman, buys a 1936 Packard sedan from the estate of spinster Abigale Watling in Oakwood, Illinois. At first, the car brings George, his wife Jean, and their daughter Rose an unexpected boon. But tragedy follows when Rose is kidnapped. The auto then comes into the possession of salesman William Landers, FBI agent Helen Meeker, and serviceman James Coffman’s family. As clues to the kidnapping caper come to light, more than one life is in jeopardy. Will Agent Meeker catch the culprit before it’s too late?

The Masquerade by Melanie Dobson

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The Masquerademasquerade

1894 – Michigan

It’s the height of the Gilded Age, but Elena Bissette’s family has lost most of its fortune.
The Bissettes still own a home on fashionable Mackinac Island, and they spend summers there in hopes of introducing Elena to a wealthy suitor. Quickly tiring of the extravagant balls at the Grand Hotel, she spends her days walking along the island’s rugged coastline. There she meets Chase, a young fisherman who invites her to watch the ships from an abandoned lighthouse. The two begin to meet there in secret, hoping to solve a decades-old mystery. Meanwhile, Elena’s mother contrives introductions between Elena and the island’s most eligible bachelor, an elusive millionaire named Chester Darrington. When Elena’s two worlds unexpectedly collide, she will be in for the surprise of her life.

Chameleon by Jillian Kent

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Chameleon (The Ravensmoore Chronicles)chameleon

1810s – England

How much can you really know about someone?

Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior. After battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her homebound for years, she journeys to London determined to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Jaded by his wartime profession as a spy, Lord Witt understands, more than most, that everyone is not always who they pretend to be. He meets Victoria after the Regent requests an investigation into the activities of her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore.

Witt and Victoria become increasingly entangled in a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Victoria is forced to question how well she knows those close to her while challenging Witt’s cynical nature and doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.

A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow

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A Darkly Hidden Truth (The Monastery Murders)adarklyhiddentruth

1375 – Norwich

Felicity has decided to become a nun. She departs to visit convents in spite of her mother’s imminent arrival and Fr. Anselm’s request that she and Fr. Antony recover a missing priceless Russian icon before the Patriarch of Moscow arrives at the community for Holy Week.

Unhallowed Ground by Mel Starr

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uhallowedgroundGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

1366 – England

Thomas atte Bridge, a man no one likes, is found hanging from a tree near Cow-leys Corner. All assume he has taken his own life, but Master Hugh and Kate find evidence that this may not be so. Many of the town had been harmed by Thomas, and Hugh is not eager to send one of them to the gallows. Then he discovers that the priest John Kellet, atte Bridge’s partner in crime in A CORPSE AT ST. ANDREW’S CHAPEL, was covertly in Bampton at the time atte Bridge died. Master Hugh is convinced that Kellet has murdered atte Bridge “one rogue slaughtering another. He sets out for Exeter, where Kellet now works. But there he discovers that the priest is an emaciated skeleton of a man, who mourns the folly of his past life. Hugh must return to Bampton and discover which of his friends has murdered his enemy…

To Dust You Shall Remain by Donna Fletcher Crow

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To Dust You Shall Return (A Lord Danvers Mystery)todustyoushallreturn

1855 – England

LADY ANTONIA HAS AN AGONIZING SECRET

It is January 1855. Three years have passed since her marriage to Lord Charles M. Danvers, and still there is no heir to the earldom. Antonia fears Charles will soon be asking a lot of questions—questions she’s afraid to answer. For she has kept a secret from Charles that might have changed his decision to marry Tonia.

With this secret weighing heavily on her mind, she and Charles stumble upon a mystery. Frail, elderly Catherine Bacon has been murdered. Though the slaying is blamed on a traveling “dustman,” Charles begins to track clues to the mysterious death through the streets of Victorian Scotland.

Meanwhile, Antonia, trying to shake the irrepressible helplessness within her, absorbs herself with a favorite hobby—antique shopping. What she discovers in one of the shops stops her in her tracks! There, in a window, is a figurine that belonged to the late Catherine Bacon. This mystery suddenly has a new twist. Antonia continues to track clues to the crime, clues that lead to a shocking discovery. All the while hoping that nobody — especially Charles — discovers the truth she’s been hiding.

Grave Matters by Donna Fletcher Crow

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Grave Matters (A Lord Danvers Mystery)gravematters

1840s – England

Grave robbing! Body snatching!

What dreadful thoughts to surround a couple on their honeymoon. But only two days before their wedding, Lady Antonia Hoover and Lord Charles Danvers discover a body—a murder victim—that points them toward a mystery filled with hatred, vengeance, and death.

Antonia and Charles spend their honeymoon in Scotland, seeing the sights and lending support to Charles’s cousin Gilchrist, the prime suspect in the murder case. As the mystery unfolds, Antonia’s fright increases. The case keeps pointing to the dark history of the resurrectionists, the grave robbers who sold bodies to anatomy professors in the late 18th century. How is Gilchrist involved in this murder? And what hidden family secret is Antonia about to discover?

A Most Inconvenient Death by Donna Fletcher Crow

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A Most Inconvenient Death (A Lord Danvers Mystery)amostinconvenientdeath

1848 – England

Lord Charles Danvers, still in mourning for his lost love Charlotte, hopes to find escape from his ghosts at the country estate of his oldest friend Sir John Boileau. The events surrounding the coming of age of Sir John’s son and heir have much of Norfolk astir— until the peace of an autumn evening is shattered by a brutal murder.

The police are quick to point to a quarrelsome farmer, but Lord Danvers has his doubts. As the local magistrate, Sir John has an interest in the investigation. But is the real connection much closer to home? And does Danvers owe the greater loyalty to an old friend or to the truth?

Then, Danvers is even more unsettled by the entrance of the alluring Lady Antonia Hoover.

The first in the “Lord Danvers Mysteries Series,” “A Most Inconvenient Death” is a Victorian true-crime novel. The Stanfield Hall Murders were the sensation they are portrayed to be, the elaborate coming of age celebrations and the ensuing dramatic trial are all recorded history.

The Resurrection of Nat Turner: Part 1: The Witnesses by Sharon Ewell Foster

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The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnessesresurrectionofnatturner1

1831 – Virginia

The truth has been buried more than one hundred years . . .

Leading a small army of slaves, Nat Turner was a man born with a mission: to set the captives free. When words failed, he ignited an uprising that left over fifty whites dead. In the predawn hours of August 22, 1831, Nat Turner stormed into history with a Bible in one hand, brandishing a sword in the other. His rebellion shined a national spotlight on slavery and the state of Virginia and divided a nation’s trust. Turner himself became a lightning rod for abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and a terror and secret shame for slave owners.

In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses, Nat Turner’s story is revealed through the eyes and minds of slaves and masters, friends and foes. In their words is the truth of the mystery and conspiracy of Nat Turner’s life, death, and confession.

The Resurrection of Nat Turner spans more than sixty years, sweeping from the majestic highlands of Ethiopia to the towns of Cross Keys and Jerusalem in Southampton County. Using extensive research, Sharon Ewell Foster breaks hallowed ground in this epic novel, revealing long-buried secrets about this tragic hero.

A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr

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atrailofinkGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

1365 – England

I had never seen Master John Wyclif so afflicted. He was rarely found at such a loss when in disputation with other masters. He told me later, when I had returned them to him, that it was as onerous to plunder a bachelor scholar’s books as it would be to steal another man’s wife. I had, at the time, no way to assess the accuracy of that opinion, for I had no wife and few books …’ So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton, near Oxford, and bailiff of Bampton Castle at the behest of Lord Gilbert Talbot. Hugh sets his cap at the delightful Kate, who proves equally resourceful in the search for the missing books. Some very determined adversaries are out to stop him, permanently if necessary – but are they motivated by greed or a more personal animosity? Then the corpse of a poor scholar, who had tried to sell one of the books, is found in the river: but he had not simply drowned …

Stars in the Night by Cara Putnam

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1942 – California

When attorney Audra Schaeffer’s sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her—but must identify her body instead. Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan. Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to her sister’s. Could the killer be the man with whom she’s falling in love?

 

Sonnet to a Dead Contessa by Gilbert Morris

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sonnettoadeadcontessaSonnet to a Dead Contessa (Lady Trent Mystery Series #3)

1858 – England

In London, 1858, women of British nobility are being murdered with alarming frequency, so Scotland Yard calls on Lady Serafina Trent and her crime-solving partner, Dylan Tremayne, to help piece together the perplexing clues. With Dylan’s help, Serafina has garnered acclaim as a brilliant detective–solving mysteries by relying on her astute observation and scientific reasoning.

But in the midst of solving these crimes, Serafina’s relationship with Dylan meets unexpected stress when his childhood sweetheart returns. Torn between desire and decorum, Serafina desperately wants Dylan to be happy–but in the arms of another woman?
After a lifetime of viewing the world through a practical lens, Serafina begins to examine her own soul–and realizes her need for Jesus. Yet will her faith save her life when all clues point to Serafina as the murderer’s next victim?

A Corpse at St Andrew’s Chapel by Mel Starr

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1365 – England

Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had stillnot returned home, his young wife Matilda sought out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor.

Two days later Alan’s corpse is discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St. Andrew’s Chapel. His throat has been torn out, his head half-severed from his body and his face, hands, and forearms lacerated with deep scratches.

Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listens carefully to the coroner surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet . . . if so, why is there so little blood?

 

The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr

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1363 – England

Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, he feels no real calling—despite his lively faith—and he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris, and then hanging his sign in Oxford.

Soon after, a local lord asks Hugh de Singleton to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspool. Through his medical knowledge, Singleton identifies her as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith.

The young man she loved—whom she had provoked very publicly—is quickly arrested and sentenced at Oxford. But this is just the beginning of the tale. 

The story of Singleton’s adventure unfolds with realistic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying sense of Christian compassion. 

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