***Warning: SPOILERS for previous books in the series!***
Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and Member of Parliament, thinks he has left his former life as a detective behind. But when his aristocratic protégé, John Dallington, asks him for help with a prospective client, Charles is eager to lend a hand, leaving his work in the House of Commons behind. Since Dallington is laid up with a bad cold, Charles agrees to meet the prospective client in his place; but before Charles can make contact with the client, a young woman named Grace Ammons, she is scared away by a mysterious man. Eventually Charles learns that Grace has connections to Buckingham Palace, and he suspects a possible plot to steal the priceless items within it. But when the man who frightened Grace Ammons is later found murdered, Charles realizes that the plot against the palace is more shocking and deadly than he ever imagined.
This is the seventh Lenox mystery, and in my opinion, the series is still going strong. One of my biggest complaints about the last couple installments has been the neglect of the secondary characters, but this book gives them a lot more attention. There is a significant subplot involving Charles’ medical friend, Thomas McConnell, and Dallington (my favorite character!) is also prominently featured. I also largely enjoyed how the mystery plot unfolded in this book; unsurprisingly, the murder and the threat to Buckingham Palace turn out to be connected, and there are many clever twists and turns along the way. But I think my favorite aspect of this novel is how it ends: there are a lot of big changes for Lenox and his friends in this book, and in my opinon, they’re changes for the better. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here!