Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Body in the Garden

Sunday, October 8, 2023

The Body in the Garden (2020) Katharine Schellman

The Body in the GardenSet in England in 1815.

Lily Adler has returned to London in an attempt to restart her life after the loss of her husband.

Lily had to take a deep breath before she could respond. It had been two years, but her chest still clenched almost too tightly to breathe every time she thought about Freddy.

She is reunited with her oldest friend, Serena, and Freddie’s best friend, Captain Hartley, who is in London while his ship is in for repairs. But at Serena’s ball she stumbles upon two men arguing in the garden–and soon one of those men is dead.

This was a very well done first book. The mystery is good, the characters are lovely, and the author did her research. The two who help Lily investigate the murder are have mothers from India and the Caribbean, and although both are mostly accepted into society, there are issues with racism.

“Plenty of Lascars in the navy, but precious few of them made post captain, eh!” The admiral chuckled. “And what was it the Indian fellows began calling you in response?”

“Captain English.” Jack grinned, though Lily noticed the lines of strain around his mouth. “Forever betwixt and between, I am.”

“Above all things, my aunt likes not having to chaperone me about.”

Lily frowned. “I had not thought her so elderly as that. But perhaps she is unwell?”

“Neither old nor sick.” Miss Oswald’s voice was grim. “She does not care to have me living with her, or to have anything to do with me if she can possibly avoid it. Unfortunately for her, my father made it clear that my London season is one of those things she cannot avoid.”

I also appreciated the acknowledgement that there were separate systems of justice for the wealthy and for everyone.

The accusation was not unreasonable; while the fledgling police force at Bow Street was paid a salary to keep the officers from accepting bribes, many still did. But the fault was not entirely one-sided: most members of Lily’s class were more than willing to use their money to turn an investigation in their favor or keep the law away from their families.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Rating: 8/10


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