I was having a little wander in my local Waterstones in York and I saw this book out of the corner of my eye. I was drawn to the bright yellow cover and the tagline ‘Laetitia Rodd mystery’ so I had read of the back and was sold on the storyline. I seem to be reading books set during Victorian times a lot more now and this fitted the bill perfectly.
I started reading this on the car journey home from holiday and was immediately drawn into this world hook, line and sinker! Laetitia Rodd is a young 52 year old the widow of an Archdeacon and the sister of a famed lawyer – Frederick Tyson. Although not quite impoverished as the book states when you compare her to other characters, she lives with her lovely landlady, Mrs Benson (who apparently once had John Keates rent a room from her!). The friendship between the two ladies is lovely and I wish Mrs Benson was in the book more! They clearly value each other’s friendship and look after each other despite the 20+ age gap and it was a joy to read. Mrs Rodd has a reputation for also being quite an astute Private Investigator and although this is the first in what I hope a new series it is implied that she has been helping her brother, Frederick Tyson with his cases.
Mrs Rodd is assigned to Wishtide, the elegant home of the Calderstone family as a governess to investigate the inappropriate love interest of the eldest son Charles. During this time, it was inappropriate to marry anyone who was not the same social class and was considered a scandal. The family feel that Helen Orme who has stolen their son’s heart is not who she says she is and task Mrs Rodd with investigating further.
I really fell in love with this book and found it so interesting comparing how much times have clearly changed. Definitely for the better if you are a woman! Mrs Rodd is such a likeable character that I couldn’t help but be charmed by her and the relationship she has with her brother, who does treat her as an equal and with respect. The storyline quickly escalates and calls upon Mrs Rodd to use all of her investigative skills to save a man from the gallows.
I utterly loved this book and all its characters and cannot wait for the next instalment!