The Secrets of Wishtide
by Kate Saunders
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Released: Sept. 13, 2016
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon and makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator. Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederick finds the cases, and Laetitia solves them using her intelligence, discretion, and immaculate cover as an unsuspecting widow.
When Frederick brings her a case involving the son of the well-respected, highly connected Sir James Calderstone, Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire to take up a position as the family's new governess. But the seemingly simple case--looking into young Charles Calderstone's “inappropriate” love interest--soon takes a rather unpleasant turn as blackmail demands show up and so do murders. As the family's secrets begin to unfold, Laetitia discovers the Calderstones have more to hide than most.
The Secrets of Wishtide is a mystery set in 1850 in England. Though Laetitia has had previous cases, this is the first book in the series. The backgrounds of several characters reminded me of novels I've read that were written in the mid-1800s. It turns out that these backgrounds were based off of a Charles Dickens novel, which helps give this novel an authentic feel.
Laetitia had some progressive views about fallen women due to being a romantic at heart, but she reflected the current (1850 England) culture in other views. I liked that she tried to be non-judgmental and show Christian compassion. I enjoyed the humorous interactions between the characters, especially between her and her brother.
At times the book felt more like a historical drama than a mystery, but Laetitia did uncover clues and stick with the investigation until the full truth came out. I wasn't surprised by whodunit, but the answer wasn't necessarily obvious.
There were no sex scenes. There was occasional use of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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