In her latest book, Lie By Moonlight, Amanda Quick takes us to Victorian England. With its gas-light streets and foggy atmosphere, it is the perfect setting for suspense and murder. As always, the author pens a story that features a strong, intelligent heroine who does not wait around for a hero to rescue her, but rather uses her own resources and takes charge of the situation at hand. But there is also a hero who is more than capable of holding his own with the heroine as they join forces to solve the mystery before them.
When Miss Concordia Glade finds herself unexpectedly fired from her previous position as a teacher at a girls’ school, she is more than happy to take a job as tutor to four orphan girls at remote, tumbledown Aldwick Castle. Having lost her own parents at the tender age of sixteen, she understands her young charges well. Concordia knows what it is like to suddenly be alone in an unwelcoming world with no family or financial resources, and she quickly becomes attached to the girls in her care.
During the month she’s been there, she’s suspected that things are not what they seem. The cook and housekeeper are sullen and keep to themselves, and the gardeners and stablemen do little work and look more like guards. Then there is the fact that the girls’ previous teacher just mysteriously disappeared one day. When Concordia overhears a conversation and realizes that the girls’ safety is threatened, she takes action.
With the help of her students, Concordia plans their escape from the remote castle. Her plan is daring and bold, but it looks as though it just might work. But even the best laid plan can go awry and they are caught as they try to flee on horseback from the estate. When all seems lost, help comes from a stranger who seems to just appear out of the dark of the night.
Ambrose Wells is a private inquiry agent whose search for answers about a young woman’s death has led him to Aldwick Castle. All is in chaos when he arrives. The castle is in flames and people are dead. In the midst of all this, he finds a woman and four girls trying to make a run from the estate. Ambrose has always been a loner, but his protective instincts kick in and he leads the five of them to safety.
As a practitioner of the ancient and almost forgotten arts of Vanza, Ambrose has been trained in meditation and arcane fighting techniques from the Far East. His nature and training have taught him to look beneath the surface of things for answers and he has many questions about Concordia and the girls. But he does not like any of the answers he discovers.
It seems that the castle really is owned by one of the most notorious figures of London’s underworld who has devious plans for the four young girls. Now Concordia and the girls have a ruthless crime lord on their trail who will stop at nothing to protect his secrets and regain custody of the girls. With their lives at risk, the five of them must go into hiding. Ambrose quickly takes them under his protection, determined to use his skills, training and contacts to uncover the truth.
But Concordia is not the kind of woman who will sit around and wait for someone else to solve her problems. Used to taking charge of things, she insists on helping Ambrose as he delves into the conspiracy and crimes surrounding the girls. It will take all the skills they both possess to unravel the complicated trail of murder and greed while protecting the girls.
As they work together, they must also deal with the relationship that is growing between them. Both of their unconventional upbringings have left them with certain ideas that they must now reconsider if they are to have a chance at love.
As always, Amanda Quick writes a complex tale filled with twists and turns. She paints a very realistic picture of Victorian England, complete with class differences and the many restrictions faced by women of the time. Witty dialogue and humor balance the darkness of the story and you quickly find yourself drawn into the lives of her wonderful characters. Lie By Moonlight is another winner by Amanda Quick who always manages to be original while entertaining her readers.