Sunday, 13 January 2008

Death at Dawn by Caro Peacock


LIBERTY Lane is the feisty early-Victorian heroine of this strange thriller.

It's written by Gillian Linscott, who won a couple of awards for her historical whodunits about suffragist Nell Bray, but has now changed her name in the hope of better sales.

Liberty's father has, it appears, been killed in a duel. But Liberty believes no such thing, and, in governess mufti, sets herself up as a spy in the household of some kingmakers who want to replace the young Queen Victoria with a man of their own.

The story is fairly confused, romping around between the rights of working men and the glamorous adventures of villains who carry women in false compartments under their carriage.

Liberty is hunted by these buttoned baddies - you're always hoping for a flight across the downs on her trusty steed, but it doesn't properly materialise.

With all those stays and bodices, a little ripping might have been in order too, but it's all quite proper and Victorian.

This seems to be the first of a series. I won't be rushing out to grab the next, but I may be wrong; the series may pick up pace as it goes on.

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