Edwards, an expert on Golden Age mystery fiction, delivers here a fast-clip work of psychological suspense set during the Great Depression. It imagines Jacob Flint, an oft-rash junior crime reporter for London’s Clarion newspaper, chancing upon what he sees as a scoop in Rachel Savernake, the bewitching, wealthy daughter of a notorious hanging judge, who’s recently relocated from her family’s remote island home and established a reputation in Britain’s capital as an unusually perspicacious amateur snoop. But is Rachel solving crimes… or committing them? Flint’s doubts are aroused as people linked to Judge Savernake (or who appear to stand in Rachel’s way) begin perishing, and as an illusionist who’s caught Flint’s eye—the mistress of one of the deceased—turns to this Fleet Street newsie for help. Duplicitous allies, counterfeit identities, a frightened girl’s diary, and a bygone place of execution all figure deliciously into the plot.
—Jeff, Madison Books, Seattle, WA