‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…’
When an undercover assignment for the Bow Street magistrate sees prostitute Lizzie Hardwicke trade Ma Farley’s Bawdy House in Soho for life as a seamstress the theatre on Drury Lane, it becomes clear quite quickly – what goes on in the wings is much more intriguing than the theatrics being played out on stage…
Soon Lizzie is once again thrown together with the handsome Inspector Will Davenport when a high profile investor is brutally hanged at centre stage and Lizzie discovers the body. With the suspect list rivalling any casting call, Lizzie will have to use every trick she’s hidden up her sleeves to unravel the tangled threads and bring the culprit into the spotlight.
I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Another eighteenth-century adventure with the irrepressible Lizzie Hardwicke and the self-contained detective Davenport.
If you haven’t read the first book in the series, ‘Death and the Harlot’, there is enough backstory in this to enjoy this standalone story, but you’re missing out if you don’t read book one.
Lizzie remains a believable historical character, with flaws, a clever mind, courage and compassion. The tentative friendship between her and Davenport develops in this story, the opposites are perfect counterpoints for the other, leading to humour and witty dialogue. The possibility of love hangs in the air, but both are emotionally damaged, and the trust between them will take a while to build.
Lizzie goes undercover as a seamstress in the famous Drury Lane Theatre, a wonderfully atmospheric setting for a historical murder mystery. The disruptive incidents that have occurred soon turn into something more deadly and Lizzie has to find the culprit.
There are lots of suspects, clues and drama in this story, with a medley of historical figures and authentic fictional characters, it holds your interest, proving to be as enthralling as any play staged in the famous theatre.
A lovely, original story with realistic characters and a clever plot.