Death at Epsom Downs
Berkley, 2001 (2001)
Reviewed by G. Hall
eath at Epsom Downs
is the seventh Victorian mystery by the husband / wife time whose pseudonym is Robin Paige. These books are set in 1890's England starring the married couple, Lady Kate and Lord Charles Sheridan. Kate and Charles are not typical members of the Engish aristocracy. Kate is a forward thinking American woman who uses her money to promote various causes which improve the lives of working class English women. Charles is an intellectual with interests in many different scientific activities. One of the most enjoyable aspects of their books is the inclusion of real people and events from history. Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling, a very young Winston Churchill and the automotive team of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce have been featured in earlier tales. All in all the series gives a well-researched look at British life around the turn of the century.
new volume by Robin Paige is always to be anticipated. However this latest book is a disappointment. It is the first one to be issued in hardcover, but unfortunately does not live up to the standard set by previous volumes. The story involves a horseracing scandal and murder at the famous Epsom Downs racetrack in Newmarket, along with the unwelcome entry of Americans to the British racing scheme. Both famed actress / personality Lillie Langtry and the ageing Prince of Wales are featured characters. Although the Sheridans are always an enjoyable team, especially the feisty Kate, this episode in their lives just did not hold my interest. The many different characters were not well-defined and the plot seemed too convoluted. It is to be hoped that this book is just an aberration in a usually very entertaining series.
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