‘A Corpse in Shining Armour/ A Family Affair’ is the 3rd novel in Caro Peacock’s Liberty Lane Victorian mystery series. Once again this novel has a different title depending on where in the world you live.
Lord Brinkburn has been losing his mind. He has now entered an asylum and is not expected to live much longer. But as soon as he is safely locked away, Lady Brinkburn announces that her elder son Stephen is illegitimate and that her younger son Miles should inherit the title and estate. This has caused an outrage in polite London society and Stephen and Miles have started fighting in public.
Benjamin Disraeli, knowing of Liberty Lane’s investigative skills has recommended her to the Brinkburn lawyer – Lomax, to discretely find a solution. Lomax would like Liberty to find Lady Sophia Brinkburn insane so that the problem can be swept away.
But Liberty and Sophia immediately take to each other and Liberty can’t see much indication of insanity. No one wants to consider that Lady Brinkburn may be telling the truth but Liberty wants to get to the bottom of ther story.
Meanwhile, dead bodies have started to show up and Liberty’s investigation rapidly becomes more complicated and more dangerous.
This was an excellent mystery and once again Caro Peacock has done an excellent job of taking us to early Victorian times.
Liberty Lane is the perfect investigator. She is a gentleman’s daughter but is required to work for her living. She is able to mix with the nobility but is not socially constrained as they are.
I enjoyed the supporting characters in the story. Disraeli continues to grow in power and importance. Amos Legge, the stable master, continues to be Liberty’s main source of information and her most stable friend. Tabby, a Cockney street girl who temporarily acts as Liberty’s maid, is a sharp witted assistant. Constable Bevan kept appearing but didn’t do much – I expect we’ll see more of him in future novels.
I’m enjoying this series. The novels are light and easy to read but have enough substance to keep them entertaining. The next in the series is – ‘When The Devil Drives’.
Book Published 2009