A dying man. The painting within her reach. What’s a thief to do?
Talented London milliner Emily Gates creates amazing hats for Society ladies, but to collect from those who don’t pay her bill, she burglarizes their homes. She needs every penny to send her deaf brother to school. Late one night, she sneaks in to find Lord Kaldaire badly injured in his study. Unwilling to abandon him, she calls for help.
When Kaldaire dies without revealing who attacked him, his widow agrees to keep Emily’s secrets ― if Emily will help find her husband’s killer. A bigger danger is a Scotland Yard inspector who threatens to arrest Emily — unless she spies on her father’s family of swindlers and conmen. Worst of all are the attacks from an unknown assailant. What will Emily face first, jail or death?
This cozy mystery is set in the era of My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins, of early automobiles and aeroplanes, and of King Edward VII and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you enjoyed the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, you’ll like Emily Gates and the collection of aristocrats and thieves in her world as they step into the 20th century.
I was drawn into this book immediately. The writing style was smooth and compact, which kept the story moving swiftly. The descriptions of London’s class society in the early twentieth century kept me satisfied that I was getting to peer back in time to an era where status was everything and clothing said a great deal about who you were.
The puzzle of the plot was carefully thought out and executed. As Emily faced consequence after consequence for her actions and those of her family, I continued to root for her. Emily is, after all, driven by good intentions, and that makes her a likable thief. And as Emily was pulled into the role of reluctant amateur sleuth, the difficulties of class society played out in the plot.
I highly recommend this lovely cozy mystery with plenty of twists and turns and a delightful sleuth.