Signet, March 2003, 5.99, 272 pp.
He once had a bright future ahead of him but when his father committed suicide, his estate and fortune was forfeited to the crown. Now Robert Fairfax, after a period of dissipation, has finally got his life together and is working as a tutor for Matthew Hemsley, a young man who comes from a powerful and rich family. To give the student some polish, he is taking him to London to introduce him to the people who will one day be a part of his future.
Matthew finds himself more interested in the social whirl of London and finds himself in love with the toast of the London Theatre Miss Lucy Dove. When she sends him a letter asking him to meet her at her home, he sneaks away from Robert to meet her. When Robert tracks him down, he finds Lucy dead and Matthew unable to remember what transpired. Matthew is bound over for trial and sent to Newgate while Robert, who believes his charge could never commit homicide, does everything in his power to track down the real killer.
The hero of this cleverly written historical mystery is not fighting to clear his student's name because he wants to keep his job but because he genuinely likes the lad and believes in his innocence. As an amateur sleuth, Robert embarks upon an investigation that is as well thought out of as a twenty-first century police officer would conduct. THE COMPLAINT OF THE DOVE is a very picturesque and atmospheric novel that brings to life Georgian England in the minds' eyes of the readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner