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The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden: Laetitia Rodd #3    by Kate Saunders order for
Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden
by Kate Saunders
Order:  USA  Can
Bloomsbury, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This is a Laetitia Rodd mystery, and Laetitia is a 'private detective of the utmost discretion.' In 1853 she receives a delicate request from a person involved with the scandalous world of the theatre. Since the request concerns a woman in need, Laetitia manages to overcome her scruples, and what a tale unfolds!

First a ten-year-old murder is uncovered, then the needy woman's husband is killed, followed by yet another murder. Family is pitted against family and betrayals abound. Author Kate Saunders certainly knows how to keep us guessing. Just as soon as we think we have the puzzled solved, something - usually a secret revealed - turns up to wreck that theory.

An added bonus is the author's ability to make us feel the life of these people. London in all its variety at that time seems familiar. And we are made to understand the opportunities given to men in that era, which were not true for women. Laetitia has the help of her brother and her landlady, and their ruminations on the case are a wonderful addition. My only qualm about this story is the sordidness of one of its character's actions.

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