Bantam, Feb 2004, 6.50, 384 pp.
In 1817, irate Waldo Bowman visits the printing office of the Avon Journal to confront J.S. Chesney having printed claims that he is a rake, written by columnist Lady Tellall. Waldo is stunned that J.S. is a widow Jo, who keeps the paper going as a tribute to her late husband.
Lady Tellall who is actually Chloe Webberly sends a letter to Jo warning her to be careful. Not long afterward, Chloe comes up missing. Jo seeks her best friend's diary hoping there may be clues to her disappearance. At the same time, her aunt involves her in a “criminal” incident with a young lad at a boarding school. Jo heads to London with Waldo following her because he believes she is in over her head and insanely feels he needs to protect her. After bailing her out of jail, Waldo shadows Jo and soon becomes deeply involved in the search for Chloe, but also needs to keep his now beloved Jo safe as someone believes she has the infamous diary.
SHADY LADY is an exhilarating Regency romantic suspense that takes off from the moment J.S. tells Waldo to leave until the final moment when he knows he must face danger to try to keep his beloved widow safe. The lead couple is a delightful duo and his friends provide insight into both stars. Fans also get a sense of Chloe through the words of others. Though the villain's motive to protect his family name from scandal at any cost seems off kilter (why cause the problem in the first place), fans will gain plenty of pleasure from this fine historical.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner