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Money, love, and murder in 1880s Newport high society…
Pinkerton detective Penelope Hamilton is summoned to fashionable Newport to investigate the two-year-old death of a wealthy matron. Did she fall from the Cliff Walk’s Forty Steps in the middle of the night, as was presumed, or was she pushed by her much-younger husband?
The case is personal this time, since Pen’s client is her own mother—breaking her near-decade of silence—and the man under scrutiny is to marry Pen’s cousin in a week’s time.
The lady detective discreetly enlists the help of a local, but the inquiry quickly unravels when he turns up dead. To make things worse, Pen’s identity as a Pinkerton is uncovered by Newport’s most prominent summer resident, whose complaint to her boss brings Pen’s estranged husband and fellow Pinkerton, Frank Wynch, to Newport.
With her cousin’s wedding day nearly here and no answers yet, Pen has no choice but to accept Frank’s help while dodging his romantic overtures. Nothing like a little danger to heighten an already-fraught relationship, as they work to expose a desperate adversary…who could prove deadly to them both.
THE SECRET OF THE FORTY STEPS is the fourth adventure in the CHRONICLES OF A LADY DETECTIVE series featuring 1880s Pinkerton detective Penelope Hamilton.
Don’t miss the latest Concordia mystery…
book 7 of the Concordia Wells Mysteries
Beware of rich men bearing gifts…
It’s the fall of 1899 and the new Mrs. David Bradley—formerly Professor Concordia Wells of Hartford Women’s College—is chafing against the hum-drum routine of domestic life.
The routine is disrupted soon enough when the long-hated but wealthy patriarch of her husband’s family, Isaiah Symond, returns to Hartford. His belated wedding gift is a rare catalogue by artist/poet William Blake, to be exhibited in the college’s antiquities gallery.
When Symond’s body is discovered in the gallery with his head bashed in and the catalogue gone, suspicion quickly turns from a hypothetical thief to the inheritors of Symond’s millions—Concordia’s own in-laws. She’s convinced of their innocence, but the alternatives are equally distressing. The gallery curator whom she’s known for years? The school’s beloved handyman?
Once again, unseemly fate propels Concordia into sleuthing, but she should know by now that unearthing bitter grudges and long-protected secrets to expose a murderer may land her in a fight for her life.
UNSEEMLY FATE is the seventh adventure in the CONCORDIA WELLS MYSTERIES, featuring 1890s professor-turned-amateur-sleuth Concordia Wells Bradley.
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