Berkley, May 2002, 22.95, 304 pp.
She was the daughter of the Prussian King and is married to one of the royal princes of Regency England. Frederica, the duchess of Yorke, prefers to spend her time at her country estate of Oatlands so she doesn't have to see her husband running around London with his mistress. She has many friends, including Beau Brummell, the social arbiter of fashion and manners in Polite Society.
Mr. Brummell, who has a crush on the duchess even though she's his best friend, travels to Oatlands for her birthday party. His valet's coach is robbed and not only his clothes are stolen but all the letters that the duchess wrote to Beau. One of the guests is killed and someone tries to blackmail the duchess. To avoid any scandal, Beau must go into detecting mode and find the letters as well as the killer.
Regency England at the height of its gaiety is the colorful tapestry upon which Rosemary Stevens creates her droll, witty and lighthearted mystery. THE BLOODIED CRAVAT is a fascinating page turning tale with so many suspects all with viable motives that readers will not be able to put the book down until they are satisfied they have all the answers to this complex puzzle.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner