by Lucinda Riley
A bit of background first. I came across the first of Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters novels when browsing in my local bookstore. The book seemed just right for my mood at the time; it was a dual line historical novel and a long one that I knew I could sink into. Riley wrote a number of books in that series; they interlink with characters from one coming back in another sister’s story. These books are perfect for historical fiction fans.
Very sadly, Lucinda Riley died not long ago. The last Seven Sisters book will be finished by one of her relatives and published next year.
The family found this MS of a mystery that Lucinda Riley wrote earlier in her career. As the introduction to the novel notes, the decision was made to publish the book as it stood without updating it. That seemed just fine to me as I read the novel.
This book, as can be discerned from the title, is different from the Seven Sisters series as it is a mystery. Readers quickly learn that Fleat House is a boys’ residence at a boarding school. A student, Charlie, possibly a bully, died by taking the wrong drug. Was it accident or murder? This question is answered early on. There are other untoward events at the school as well; a boy has disappeared and a master has (seemingly) committed suicide. What is going on at this Norfolk boarding school? Readers will get to know many characters as the story unfolds.
Jazz is the one who is tasked with finding out. An exceptional DI who left the force, Jazz is persuaded to take up this case. What follows for readers is time spend with a good protagonist and an interesting investigation. As is true in all of the Riley books that I have read, this one is long. For me that is a plus as I know that the her stories will always engage me for awhile.
I will miss Ms. Riley but am thankful for the unexpected appearance of this novel.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title.
Pub date: 26 May 2022