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01 August 2016

Rambling About.. The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Set in 1850 England, The Secrets of Wishtide is the first of Kate Saunders' Laetitia Rodd mystery series due out on September 13th. Laetitia (Letty) is 52 years old, childless, and a widow -- her archdeacon husband, Matt, having died just over two years ago. She lives quite modestly, but happily, with her friend and landlady Mary Bentley. Her younger brother, Fred Tyson, is a criminal barrister and often relies on Letty's assistance in cases. After all, people are often far more willing to open up to a kindly old minister's widow than they are to a lawyer.

Her latest case has her travelling to Wishtide, the home of Sir James and Lady Calderstone. Their son, Charles, has fallen in love with the girl who had been hired to teach their daughters Italian but they have received ominous correspondence suggesting that the girl isn't suitable. Letty is to act as the new governess for the daughters while snooping about to find out the truth about the girl that Charles wants to marry.

It sounds like an easy enough case for a woman who says that her work "could be described as the Management and Prevention of Scandal," and it does start out to be easily tied up. Unfortunately, it gets complicated when more family secrets are discovered and several murders at and around Wishtide occur. When Charles is arrested for one of them Letty is called upon to help clear his name -- much to the dismay of Scotland Yard's Inspector Blackbeard.

I thought that I knew a couple of different times how things were going to play out but Saunders kept me guessing. I'm thrilled that I was able to read this thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley and even more thrilled that more Laetitia Rodd books are in the works! Part Father Brown, part Miss Marple -- Letty Rodd is a pure delight and will be a welcome addition to any historical mystery collection!

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