‘When the Devil Drives’ is the 4th novel by Caro Peacock (Gillian Linscott) featuring the Victorian London PI Liberty Lane.
Liberty is still establishing her investigation business and wondering where the money will come from to pay the rent when she suddenly acquires two new clients. And, with her almost fiancé Robert Carmichael away in Ireland for his brother’s wedding, there is no one to check on how much danger she is getting into.
The first client is a young man whose fiancé has gone missing. He doesn’t seem to know much about the young lady (being more interested in himself) but gives Liberty just enough information to identify her.
The second client is a well to do man who is concerned that a young countess is going to create a scandal. She is besotted with Prince Ernest of Saxe Coburg who is currently in England with his brother Albert to visit the young Queen Victoria. The client pays Liberty to befriend the Countess and keep her out of trouble.
Liberty doesn’t pay much heed to the stories of a black carriage, driven by the devil, travelling the streets of London at night, although her superstitious young assistant Tabby is more concerned. Then young women start turning up dead at major monuments. The deaths are linked to the devil’s carriage and one of the dead women may be the young lady that Liberty is looking for.
Liberty and Tabby are not the only ones looking for the devil’s carriage. Liberty’s trusted friend Amos Legge is also on its trail.
With Halloween around the corner, the devil’s carriage at large and a royal scandal brewing, the nation waits to hear confirmation of the engagement of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg.
Once again this was a fun mystery with Liberty putting herself in danger while still managing to behave as a proper Victorian young lady should.
There were plenty of twists and turns in the story and in the end nothing was as it first appeared. Once again Liberty and Amos found themselves in the midst of people they least expected themselves to be involved with.
Some of the events in this series require a lot of imagination, but I’m enjoying myself and look forward to reading the next novel – ‘Keeping Bad Company’.
Book Published 2011