This is the seventh in a series of Victorian period mysteries written by a husband and wife team under a pseudonym. Well written and well-researched, they are replete with detail evocative of a bygone era. The main characters are engaging and with each passing book, the reader becomes more interested with 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.
The series revolves around Lady Kathryn and her husband, Charles, Baron of Somersworth. This time they are off to the races at Epsom Downs for the Derby, as Lord Charles, an avid and renowned photographer, has been commissioned to take photos of the finish of the race. Unfortunately, a jockey is killed during the race, when the horse he is riding does the unthinkable.
Suspicions of doping and the potentially detrimental effects of such on racing and betting prompts those in high places to engage the services of Lord Charles to investigate just what really happened. Lady Kathryn, meanwhile, schedules Lillie Langtry, who happens to be at Epsom downs, for an interview in hope of writing an article about the famous actress. What she discovers serves only to aid her husband in his investigation. Together, they are, indeed, a formidable investigatory team.
It is 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 horse racing in England and some of its practices. The injection of Lilly Langtry into the storyline was also 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.