This is the eighth in a series of historical cozy mysteries that feature the husband and wife team of Lord Charles Sheridan and his wife, Kathryn. They are the Nick and Nora Charles of the turn of the twentieth century. They are also progressive in their ideas and liberal in their thinking, embracing with enthusiasm all the technological advances that the new century has to offer.
Charles, who has been an advocate of fingerprinting, has been requested to go to Dartmoor Prison to begin the implementation of a fingerprinting system at the prison. While at the prison, Charles arranges for a meeting with one of the most notorious prisoners there, a man whom Charles believes to be innocent of the crime to which he confessed. Meanwhile, Kathryn, who is an established author and has accompanied Charles, is looking to soak up atmosphere on the moors for her new novel.
Shortly after, a prison break takes pace and three convicts escape, including the prisoner whom Charles believes to be innocent. Soon, a dead body is discovered on the moor, and Charles and Kathryn are one more immersed in another mystery to solve. This time they are joined in their quest for truth and justice by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Well written and well-researched, the book is replete with detail evocative of a bygone era. The main characters are engaging and with each passing book, the reader becomes more interested in the details of their lives. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mystery is intriguing, it is simply the framework around which the characters evolve.
It is also of interest that these books always seem to include a historical personage or event that is intertwined into the mystery at hand. The historical notes at the end of the book are most enjoyable, as they allow the reader to understand the reasoning and research that went into such inclusion. In this case, they provide a lot of information about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the writing of his book, "The Hounds of the Baskerville." The injection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle into the storyline was quite interesting, and, again, the historical notes are also illuminating as to why. For those who enjoy history, these notes are an added bonus to these books. Those who enjoy the historical cozy mystery genre will definitely love this series.