The 19th century is on its way out, as are many of the Victorian conventions regarding women. The elaborate bustles that were de rigeur when Vanessa Weatherburn first arrived in Cambridge have given way to less constricting skirts, and women have shaken off some more important constrictions as well. Vanessa's work as a private investigator need no longer be presented as a personal hobby: she has actually been asked to help the police with their enquiries. The enquiry in question concerns the identity of a pretty young woman found drowned in the river. Vanessa suspects she may have been an actress, but that raises questions of its own. Not so long ago, "actress" was synonymous with, well, a woman with a past. But today it's said that Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the toast of the London stage, is received in some of the best houses. Have notions of respectability changed that much? Or are the newfound female freedoms merely a thin veneer, masking societal expectations that have, in truth, become no less restrictive?
"Original and fascinating"—Chicago Tribune
"Seasoned with wit and intelligence"—Literary Review
Who's likely to like this: Fans of Anne Perry and of Jacqueline Winespear's "Maisie Dobbs" series