This book is also published as ‘A Foreign Affair’. Gillian Linscott became well known in the 1990s and early 2000s for her brilliant series of books featuring the character Nell Bray. Now writing as Caro Peacock she has produced a series of three books featuring Victorian heroin Liberty Lane. Death at Dawn is the first in this series followed by Death of a Dancer and A Corpse in Shining Armour.
Liberty Lane is a 22 years old, intelligent, fiercely independent and has a stubborn tendency to ignore the rules. This beautiful, brave and stubborn heroin secretly leaves the home of her tedious aunt to meet her father in Dover only to hear that he has died. The note she receives concerning her father’s death doesn’t ring true with the type of man that Liberty knew her father to be, so she travels to Calais to bury her father’s body and to discover the truth about her father’s death.
As a young lady in the 1830s, Libby has no money of her own and with her father’s death she is left penniless, so she makes some unusual alliances while tracing the circumstances of her father’s death (and she never quite sure who is on what side and how they were involved with her father). One of the people she meets is Mr Blackstone. He is an emaciated serious man, always dressed in black. He was a friend of Liberty’s father while he was alive. He manipulates Libby into helping him towards his own agenda while helping Libby find out who killed her father.
Along the way she is kidnapped, becomes the owner of a temperamental racehorse, works as a governess to a wealthy family, finds a dead body, and uncovers a dangerous and treasonous plot.
The discovery of the identity of her father’s murderer, along with the fulfilment of the sinister plot by disaffected lords, come together in a fast paced and exciting ending to the story.
The portrayal of places and characters in the book transported me into the era and I found myself looking forward to the next Liberty Lane story to see what would happen next.
Book Published 2007