Jove, Nov 2002, 5.99, 304 pp.
When Lady Beatrice Talbott tripped over her dog and suffered severe injuries, she sends for her niece Millicent Blair, but not to nurse her back to health. Instead Beatrice assigns Millicent to continue her Lord Truefitt's gossip column in the London Daily Reader. Though she loathes spreading gossip, Millicent would do anything including writing this column for her aunt.
Millicent reports that the Mad Ton Thief stole a priceless golden raven from the collection of the Earl of Dunraven, Charles Preswick, while the aristocrat hosted a social event. Charles meets Millicent and is very attracted to her wit and intelligence, more so perhaps than her understated beauty. Charles, frustrated by the poor performance of Bow St., begins his own investigation into the identity of the Mad Ton Thief with Millicent helping him sift through the clues. Working in close proximity and courting too, Charles and Millicent fall in love, but she worries what will happen to her beloved aunt if he learns who Truefitt is.
Fans of Regency romantic romp will relish this amusing tale highlighted by Lord Truefitt's commentaries that borrow from classic literature to describe individual members of the Ton. Even with a semblance of an amateur sleuth investigation, the story line never takes itself seriously, but except for the column never quite attains a sense of irony or powerful suspense. Instead the audience receives a delightfully cheerful “All's well that ends well” tale starring two engaging protagonists.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner