A Dangerous Affair by Caro Peacock

Caro Peacock’s A Dangerous Affair: A Novel of Victorian England is an advanced reader’s copy I received through the HarperCollins First Look program and will be published by HarperCollins’ Avon imprint on Jan. 27, 2009 in the United States or early February 2009 in the United Kingdom.

A Dangerous Affair is the sequel to A Foreign Affair and picks up with Liberty Lane right after the passing of her father. Her brother is away working with the East India Trading Company, and Liberty is left to earn her way in London as a music tutor. Her meager wages allow her to share lodgings with Mrs. Martley and she takes solace in riding her horse, Rancie, a gift from her father before his death. She has a network of friends who loved her father and have opted to care for her as well in his absence. David Suter is one of those friends and he composes music and leads orchestras at local theaters for a living.

This novel is set in London during the Victorian period, though the actions and language in the novel are more modern than a typical novel of this period. Despite this one drawback, readers will be easily sucked into the story as Liberty seeks to free the wrongly accused after a not-so-well-liked dancer, Columbine, is murdered backstage. From the prominent Mr. Disraeli to Amos Legge who works in the livery, the cast of characters in this novel aid Liberty in her quest to save David Suter’s friend even at the expense of her own pride.

The Old Bailey and a number of other prominent landmarks make it easy for readers to discern where they are in London as Liberty adorns her Sherlock Holmes’ deerstalker to track down the real killer of Columbine. This is an entertaining read with a variety of twists and turns.

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3 copies of Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt are up for grabs here. The deadline for this international contest is Jan. 17.