While on her way to London, Lady Fan comes across a woman standing in the middle of the road, silent, in shock, and covered in blood, most of it obviously from someone else, though her hands are covered in shallow cuts. An investigation reveals a dead body lying in the woods nearby, from which the blood has obviously come. The man's chest and stomach are similarly cut about, but is that what killed him? Lady Fan interprets the signs differently, and refuses to believe that the woman is responsible for the man's death. But will she be able to find the evidence to convince a (male) jury? As the situation begins to unfold and it becomes clear who is truly responsible, Lady Fan realises that this time she's up against something that she may not be able to fix...
I have to start by saying that the improbability of one woman who is in no way connected with law enforcement coming across all of these situations that she faces in this series is something that must be put aside before the stories can be enjoyed. However, having decided to ignore that, the books themselves are well written, with interesting characters and good storylines. Meg's father made me mad, but I enjoyed the continuation of the relationship between Francis and Otillia, and the entrance of Lizzie was good. I seem to have missed reading book 4, and the references to it intrigued me enough to make me want to go back and read it, but the book can stand alone, though there are occasional references to previous 'adventures' throughout.
Recommended for readers of Heyer's mysteries, though with a historical setting, but with the added benefits of Francis and Tillie (and others) as ongoing characters and relationships, and less objectionable language.
Note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
Another great book in this wonderful series - could not work out the end at all! Great writing and character development, recommend to anyone who loves a good mystery, the bonus of this historical aspect is the icing on the cake.