"Fully realized characters, a complex plot and a surprise ending sure to satisfy." -Publishers Weekly
"The pace is relentless; the characters are richly and fully drawn...a complex, richly detailed, well-written historical novel." -Carl Brookins
"This is a historical mystery to get lost in, satisfying at every level." -Booklist
Anne Cartier, a teacher of the deaf, accepts an offer help a deaf child whose governess died in a fall down the stairs of the family's palatial mansion. Anne suspects the death might not have been an accident and begins to investigate. She is aided by her friend and suitor, Paul de Saint-Martin. They believe the young woman's death may have been the work of renegade French army officer Captain Fitzroy, already accused of a brutal rape in Paris. Fitzroy has found refuge at the mansion with his cousin and intimate friend, Lady Margaret, lady of the house and wife of slaver Sir Harry Rogers. Soon Anne discovers she must protect as well as teach young Charlie.
Watching it all is Lord Jeff, a black footman and a bare-knuckle fighter of impressive skill who may win Sir Harry a large purse. But the slave has his own agenda. The abolition of slavery is a hot topic in Bath, a city that draws much of its wealth from that brutal business.
Charles O'Brien earned a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University and went on to teach history for thirty years before turning to writing historical mystery fiction full-time. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Elvy.