Title: Murder in Mayfair by D.M. Quincy
Atlas Catesby Series Book One
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In 1814, Atlas Catesby, a brilliant adventurer and youngest son of a baron, is anxious to resume his world travels after being injured in a carriage accident in London. But his plans are derailed when, passing through a country village, he discovers a helpless woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder–by her husband.
In order to save her from being violated by another potential buyer, Atlas purchases the lady, Lilliana, on the spot to set her free. But Lilliana, desperate to be with her young sons and knowing the laws of England give a father all parental rights, refuses to be rescued–until weeks later when her husband is murdered and Atlas is the only one who can help clear her name of the crime.
Fortunately, Atlas is a master at solving complicated puzzles, with games as well as the intricacies of human motivation, and finds himself uniquely suited to the task, despite the personal peril it may put him in. But soon Altas learns the dead man had many secrets–and more than a few enemies willing to kill to keep them quiet–in Murder in Mayfair, the first in a new historical mystery series by D. M. Quincy.
With a cast of eclectic characters, an intriguing murder and a wonderful setting, Murder in Mayfair, the first release in D.M. Quincy’s Atlas Catesby series, is a marvelous mystery set in 1814 England.
Atlas Catesby’s zest for adventure usually keeps him far from home, but he has been sidelined for months while waiting for an injury to heal. When he and his good friend, the Earl of Charlton Gabriel Young stop for a meal, Atlas chivalrously steps in to rescue Lilliana Warwick when her odious husband Godfrey sells her at a public auction. He then takes her to his sister Thea Palmer’s home and they begin to brainstorm how to permanently reunite Lilliana with her two young sons, Peter and Robin. Godfrey continues to be a thorn in her side as he attempts to force her to return to their country home. After Atlas discovers Godfrey’s corpse, he becomes Bow Street runner Ambrose Endicott’s prime suspect when the death is ruled a homicide. Uncertain whether Endicott is pursuing the case with enough vigor, Catesby turns amateur sleuth in order to unmask the killer.
Atlas is quite intelligent with a penchant for solving puzzles. He is growing increasingly restless as his recovery takes much longer than he originally anticipated. He is rather forward thinking for the time period as he eschews many of society’s rules and champions women’s rights. Atlas is unable to leave behind his guilt from a long ago tragedy and he cannot resist stepping in when he witnesses a damsel in distress.
Lilliana is a bit mysterious as she reveals as little as possible about herself to her new acquaintances. She is fiercely devoted to her sons and she will do anything to maintain contact with them. Despite her untenable marriage, Lilliana is a strong, resilient woman who refuses to let fear prevent her confronting her vile husband when she needs to.
During his investigation into Godfrey’s murder, Atlas discovers there are many people who have good reason to kill the despicable man. Topping the list is the mysterious man who was recently involved in a physical altercation with Godrey not long before the murder. But with only a vague description of a man wearing distinctive ring, Atlas’s efforts to locate him are quickly stalled. Another clue leads Atlas to a local tailor with a secret to keep but would he kill Godfrey in order to silence him? Atlas also discovers that Godfrey recently had a falling out with his only friend but is this a motive for murder?
Murder in Mayfair is an enthralling mystery with a fascinating storyline and an interesting cast of characters. The slow build up to Godfrey’s murder provides D.M. Quincy with ample opportunity to develop the various characters and the storyline. Atlas’s investigation reveals a vast pool of suspects who have viable motives for murder, but which one of them is the killer? The novel hurtles to an absolutely stunning conclusion as Atlas finally uncovers the jaw-dropping truth about Godfrey’s murderer. A wonderful beginning to the Atlas Catesby series that is sure to delight fans of historical mysteries.