278 pages ~ ★★★★☆ ~ Netgalley eARC
When recently widowed Lily Adler returns to London from Hertfordshire she’s hoping to reconnect with old friends and ease herself back into social circles. At one of old friend Serena’s parties she’s taking a break from the crowd in the garden when she overhears two men having an argument, followed by a gunshot. The next day when Lily visits the police station to give a statement on she’s told the case has already been closed due to lack of evidence. Taking matters into her own hands she teams up with one of her husband’s old friends Jack and a friend of the victim, Miss Oswald to try and solve the mystery.
I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I expected to, from the blurb I thought this was going to be a middle of the road historical mystery but I was very pleasantly surprised; while it was easy to read there were plenty of twists and turns while avoiding a few cliches. The plot/motive got a lot deeper and more complex than I thought it was going to and it did keep me guessing as to who had committed the crime, annoying at one point I guessed correctly only to be persuaded otherwise!
There’s also a lot in here around the perception of women during the early 1800s, Lily has to rely on Jack a lot as her going around asking questions or visiting certain places alone would be considered ‘incorrect’; although at times this does work in her favour as she not considered to be suspicious and when trying to sneak around other’s homes can claim she got lost on the way to the powder room to correct her hairpins.
I got the impression that this is going to be the first in a series and I really hope it is, I’d definitely want to read more from these characters.
The Body in the Garden is due for release on 7th April. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.