Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Murder in Bloomsbury by D.M. Quincy

Last year, D.M. Quincy's first Atlas Catesby mystery, Murder in Mayfair, was one of my top picks of the year. The second book in the series, Murder in Bloomsbury, has done nothing to disabuse me of the idea that Quincy is a talented author who tells wonderful stories. Once again, she takes readers back to Regency London with an intriguing historical mystery featuring well-developed, believable characters.

Atlas Catesby was trying to forget Lady Roslyn Lilliana Sterling after he learned her brother was the Duke of Somerville. But, when a footman arrives from the wealthy Duke asking Catesby to visit, he agrees. The Duke requests a favor, but it's actually Lilliana who wants Catesby's assistance. A clerk has died of arsenic poisoning in his lodgings in Bloomsbury. Gordon Davis was the brother of Lilliana's maid, Tacy, who believes her brother was murdered. Now, Lilliana wants to team up with Catesby once more to find the truth.

Neither the truth, nor Gordon Davis, are what either of them expect. Davis turns out to be a ladies' man with a penchant for courting above his station. There are women and fathers and husbands who could have wanted the man dead. And, Davis may have worked in a factory that used arsenic, but he was also known to use it for his health. The trail to the truth is a complicated one that leads Atlas Catesby from a factory to the Duke of Somerville's ball, and all kinds of places and people in between those two stratas of society.

Catesby is challenged on many levels in this story. He deals with a number of women who lie to him. He continues to enjoy Lilliana's company, knowing she's above his station in life. The man who wants to marry Lilliana sees Atlas Catesby as an impediment to their marriage. And, yet, it's Lilliana who asked for Catesby's help, and often invites him to dinner in her private rooms. These two spirited characters are drawn to each other, intellectually and romantically, but any possible relationship is complicated by the societal rules of the time.

Murder in Bloomsbury is a compelling mystery, grounded in historical details. The rich details create the atmosphere of early 19th century London. But, it's Atlas Catesby and Lady Roslyn Lilliana Sterling, two spirited, engaging characters, who truly bring this book to life. Quincy's second Atlas Catesby mystery is as captivating as the first.

D.M. Quincy's website is www.dmquincy.com

Murder in Bloomsbury by D.M. Quincy. Crooked Lane Books, 2018. ISBN 9781683314653 (hardcover), 336p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Netteanne said...

On your recommendation I read the first one and love the characters, am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the second book to our library.

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Nettieanne! I'm glad you enjoyed the first one. I still love the characters.

Sharon said...

I am so looking forward to this one Lesa. Good to know it did not disappoint!

Lesa said...

Not one bit, Sharon!