‘The Path of the Wicked’ is the 6th novel in Caro Peacock’s Liberty Lane series, featuring the young, female, Victorian private investigator Liberty Lane.
When Liberty receives a summons from her friend and often employer Disraeli, she is looking forward to taking on a new case. But the case that Disraeli offers is one that Liberty can’t take. He wants her to spy on a group of chartists, men who are demonstrating and campaigning for working class men to be given the right to vote. Liberty believes in their cause and will not work against them.
Instead, Liberty takes a case outside London. A magistrate in Gloucestershire, part of a panel of three, is concerned about a case. Jack Picton has been jailed for the murder of a governess named Mary March. Mr Godwit believes that Picton may be innocent and is being made a scapegoat because of his political activism. Mary had been helping Picton’s sister Joanna before she was transported to Australia for murdering her illegitimate baby.
It takes all of Liberty’s investigative skills to find the link between the two cases, and even more to find out who murdered Mary. Justice seems to operate very differently for the poor than it does from the rich.
Liberty has once again travelled with her assistant Tabby, the London street urchin who pretends to be Liberty’s maid. Liberty’s good friend Amos Legge is also in the area and has some devastating personal news for Liberty.
This was another entertaining novel as we watched Liberty fighting for equal justice for all men, and the beginnings of freedom for women – with a long long way to go.
I’m looking forward to continuing the series with – ‘Friends in High Places’.
Book Published 2013