CUT TO THE QUICK, by Kate Ross

1/series. London, 1820. Introducing the beguiling Julian Kestrel, man about town, reigning dandy, and inadvertent sleuth. Befriending a befuddled young man in a gambling hell, the Kestrel is invited to the young man's wedding. Once at Bellegarde, the enormous Fontclair family seat, he wonders why he was invited. The family, all convinced of their nobility and superiority, is unusually contentious, no doubt stemming from the bizarre circumstances of the young man's betrothal. Family reaction to the arrangement is varied, from cool acceptance to bristling contempt. Even the bride-to-be isn't ecstatic. Click below for more...
When a body is discovered, Kestrel's valet Dipper, a former pickpocket, is accused and he must save Dipper by his own investigation: the local magistrate is the Fontclair family head. Tautly plotted, marvelous dialogue, wonderfully human emotions without the histrionics often found in Regencies. This series of four books (sadly, the fabulously talented author died at a young age) will make delicious reading. It's a 5.
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