The Body in the Garden Review

Hello, all!

I have such a soft spot for Victorian set historical fiction, especially if it surrounds a strong female lead. Bonus points if that female lead dabbles in detective work. So, it was pretty much a no brainer that I'd pick up The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman. Big thanks to Netgalley for the copy!

Pub Date: 4-7-20
Historical Fiction - Mystery
It's 1815 London, and newly widowed Lily Adler is returning back to a society that frowns upon independent women, but Lily is determined to make a life for herself without her husband. At her first ball back in society, she expects all the whispers and gossip that usually surrounds the London upper class. What she doesn't expect is stumbling upon an attempted blackmail turned murder in the garden of her oldest friend, Lady Walter.

Because she's a woman, the police don't seem to believe her when she tells them what she's overheard. They especially don't seem to care once the local magistrate is paid off by none other than Lord Walter himself to drop the case. Determined not to let a terrible deed go unpunished, Lily recruits her husband's oldest friend, a charming naval captain, and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies to help her catch a killer. The farther into their investigation the trio goes, the more they uncover a bigger plot, and the more their lives are at stake and it's a race to the truth before Lily becomes the next target.

This book checked all my boxes: Victorian England, check. Take no crap leading lady, check. Witty, smart dialogue, check. Fun mystery, check. It was such a well written story and I was hooked right from the start. I loved how Schellman laid out the mystery and all the details. She really left you guessing as to who was the mastermind behind it all, and I felt really satisfied by the end. There's slight twists that throw you, and subtle clues you pick up throughout. Lily was such a great character, and really holds her own against all these men who try and silence her. I also really liked her co-detectives, Captain Jack Hartley and Miss Oswald, but my favorite secondary character had to be Jem, the wily young urchin who helps them out. If you're looking for a quick, well laid out mystery, check this one out.

Rating: 4/5


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