Monday, January 17, 2022

THE DEBUTANTE'S CODE by Erica Vetsch, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

*Thorndike and Swann Mysteries

"Disappointment was only a short step away from resentment, she found. For years she had made excuses . . . How did she honor her parents as God intended when their decisions thwarted the desires of her heart?"

Returning home after years away at finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is met at the docks with disappointment; rather than the count and countess meeting her for a joyous reunion, her Uncle Betrand is there instead; short on excuses and anxious to be on with his business. With her debut into London society less than twenty-four hours away, Juliette cannot understand why her parents have assigned the dowager Haverly to chaperone her through the presentation. As it turns out, the entire debut proves to be most unusual, most unusual indeed, for who would imagine concluding a glorious evening being witness to a most unusual crime?

When Bow Street runner Daniel Thorndike is called out to investigate the details surrounding a stolen painting, he invites himself into a lavish party scene, the guests being some of London's most recognizable elite who exhibit predictable displeasure about being questioned by the police. Upon further study, his attention cannot help but hover around the lovely Lady Thorndike, whose intelligence spills over into her every expression. Subsequently, when the one crime broadens into several, Daniel is forced to turn his focus back to the lady and her uncle, unknowingly becoming caught up in something far bigger than whether or not he can sustain his own career.

What a rare find! A conventional mystery wrapped tightly within the embellishments of a fine Regency historical. It's clever, it's interesting, and it's incredibly enjoyable, for following the clues sends readers toward the same dead ends as the characters, who themselves are not even sure whom to trust. Needless to say, the author also smoothly incorporates the topics of abandonment, honesty, integrity, faith, doubt, and even love, for who hasn't uttered this sort of prayer; "God what should I do? Where can I turn?".

Readers will be clamoring for more of "Thorndike and Swann"! 
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.


BackCover Blurb:
Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.

Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spy craft. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner Daniel Swann, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission? Or will it lead her to a terrible end?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance. 

Kregel Publishing, Dec, 2021
Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy The Debutante's Code at Amazon,, and Baker Book House


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