I was lucky to have a won an ARC of this new first book in a new series from Bookish.com. Madelaine Hunter is one of my favorite authors and this book did not disappoint. This is unbiased and voluntary review.
The eccentric and extremely wealth Duke of Hollinburgh has mysteriously died by falling off the parapet of his home, a place where he walked at night quite frequently. Was it an accident or murder? Aside from the entitled properties, he leaves nothing to his relatives, but does leave three large bequeaths to three unknown women, not only money but shares in his investments, which were the keys to his wealth. His favorite nephew, Chase Radnor, recently returned from the Army and who has a PI business, already was told by his uncle that his aunts and cousins would be receiving nothing after his death. His brothers had all received large inheritances from their mother, but this was a proliferate family, mostly generating sons. The relatives are outraged. Chase is not only charged by the solicitor to find the three women, but also by the Home Office to investigate the murder.
The first of the three women that he finds is Minerva Hepplewhite, formerly known as Margaret Finley. Minerva had been orphaned twice. First by her parents and then abandoned by her uncle and two cousins, when her uncle decide to emigrate to America, leaving her behind, and suggesting she accept the offer of marriage to a much older Algernon Findley. Beth was a war widow, who worked for him for half wages so she could keep her son, Jeremy. Algernon had anger issues and eventually the three of them fled, Margaret suing for a separation. Subsequently he was shot. Through the help of an unknown benefactor, they flee to London. Where Minerva changed her name and started her own investigation business that she runs with Beth and Jeremy.
Needing to prove her innocence of the murder of the duke, Minerva begins her own investigation, crossing hairs with Chase often enough that they decide to work together. But there also is this strange unwanted attraction that has developed between the two.
Wonderful characters, witty banter and a riveting mystery make this a hard to put down page turner. I also look forward to the next books in the series about the other two mystery women and how the will become entwined with two of Chases cousins.