Berkley, Sept 2004, 12.00, 208
He fought in Greece against the Turks but returned to his English mansion Malfine to heal from the wounds he received in Crete. His face is scarred and he is a recluse unable to deal with his tenants, the landed gentry or women for fear of frightening them to death. Unfortunately Lord Ambrose is not allowed to stay apart from the affairs in his corner of the world. A gypsy is accused of killing the male Crawshays and the tenants want to personally to punish him.
Lord Ambrose refuses to allow vigilante justice to prevail and he takes the gypsy into his own custody, putting him in the dungeons beneath his mansion. When the local men try to rape the gypsy's wife, Ambrose takes them to a place where they will be safe; in return she tells them a secret about one of the women living in the Crawshay house. At first, Lord Ambrose thinks Mrs. Crawshay and the governess Elisabeth Anstruther played a part in the men's murders but when a strong sturdy farmer set to guard the woman is killed, Lord Ambrose thinks he misread the evidence.
England in 1830, months after the death of King George, is a gloomy place with Edward on the throne and the workers rioting because they are losing their jobs to machines. The hero is scarred both physically and mentally but the mystery of the deaths of the Crawshays brings him back to life. He once again becomes a commanding figure who through force of will becomes a leader. Jane Jakeman has written an exciting historical mystery with so many viable suspects readers won't be able to figure out who the killer is.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner