To the ranks of great sleuths of ages past, add a new candidate - Julian Kestrel - a detective as historically authentic as Brother Cadfael and as dashing as Lord Peter Wimsey. Kestrel is the reigning dandy of London in the 1820s, famous for his elegant clothes and his unflappable sangfroid. One night he rescues a young aristocrat named Hugh Fontclair from a gambling house, and in gratitude Hugh invites him to be best man at his wedding. But when Kestrel goes to stay with the Fontclairs at their sumptuous country house, he is caught in the crossfire of the bride's and groom's warring families. Soon, discord erupts into murder. In a world without fingerprinting, chemical analysis, or even police, murder poses a baffling challenge. Undaunted, Kestrel sets out to solve the crime. With the help of his Cockney manservant, Dipper a (mostly) reformed pickpocket, Kestrel delves beneath the Fontclairs' respectable surface. What he finds is a trail of crime, deception, and forbidden lust that leads him at last to the killer. The combination of a new author, a charming new sleuth, and a strikingly original setting adds up to a smashing mystery that moves with force and intelligence - and expert suspense - from beginning to end.
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Kate Ross was a lawyer in Boston. She wrote four books in the “Julian Kestrel” series before dying unexpectedly at the age of 41.From Library Journal:
In 1820s London, Mark Craddock, formerly a stable hand for the ancient, respectable Fontclair family, blackmails Hugh Fontclair into asking for the hand of his only daughter. During a prenuptial house party at the Fontclair estate, gadabout dandy Julian Kestel discovers a murdered woman in his bed, then joins in the subsequent investigation. Likely suspects include Hugh's rakish cousin, evasive uncle, penniless poor relation, and so forth. Period atmosphere, polished dialog, ever-present class distinctions, and sprinklings of Regency romance make this a nice series opener with an unusual "hero."
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140233946
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