Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Tempest In The Tea Room by Libi Astaire + #FreeBook

Tempest In The Tea Room by Libi Astaire
Published by Aster Press in January 2014.

How I got this book:
Downloaded the free ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s trouble afoot in Regency London’s Jewish community, and no one to stop the crimes—until wealthy-widower-turned-sleuth Mr. Ezra Melamed teams up with an unlikely pair: General Well’ngone and the Earl of Gravel Lane, the leaders of a gang of young Jewish pickpockets.

In this first volume of the Jewish Regency Mystery Series, a young Jewish physician is accused of poisoning his wealthy patient, Lady Marblehead, as well as stealing a priceless pearl bracelet from her jewelry box. After more outbreaks of the mysterious ailment occur in the city, an increasingly hysterical Jewish community turns to Mr. Melamed to investigate the case—who in turn enlists the aid of General Well’ngone and the Earl of Gravel Lane to find the real culprit.

But there are too few clues and too little time in this humorous mystery story featuring British detectives who are definitely in a class of their own.

I spotted this Regency-era novel as an Amazon freebie - a first of a series enticement - and, being a Georgette Heyer fan on the quiet, was tempted to give Tempest In The Tearoom a try. It's inspired more by classic British crime mysteries than historical romance, with a hint of Dickens thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed untangling the whos, whys and wherefores of the mysterious poisonings. I thought the culprits were made too obvious too early on, but I still appreciated Astaire's attention to historical detail and the varied characters with whom she populates her story. There's a good sense of place too so I could easily imagine Astaire's London locations. Tempest In The Tearoom was a satisfying read and I plan to read the next book in this series in due course.

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