“Cass Raines, the intelligent, perceptive narrator of Clark’s unforgettable first novel and series launch, runs her own one-woman detective agency in Chicago. A former Chicago PD detective, Cass left the force after being shot during a confrontation with an armed suspect two years earlier. Soon after her old friend Fr. Ray “Pop” Heaton asks her to look into a vandalism incident at his church, she discovers him shot to death in the confessional. Near the altar lies the body of a young man wearing gang colors. The self-assured yet incompetent police detective assigned to the case sees this one as quickly closed. Since Cass owes so much to Pop, who helped her grandparents raise her after her mother died, she decides to investigate on her own. While Cass is busy fighting for justice in her neighborhood, she may also have a little time for a policeman she admires, a certain Detective Weber,who’s separated from his wife. Distinctive, vividly written characters lift this promising debut. Readers will be eager for the sequel.”– Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

 

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 “A ghastly poisoning sets a young writer on the trail of a killer in Victorian London. January 1835 finds rising journalist Charles Dickens enjoying Epiphany dinner with his editor, George Hogarth, and his family in Brompton when a terrible scream splits the air. Dickens, Hogarth, and Hogarth's daughter Kate rush next door to Lugoson House. There, Lady Lugoson's daughter, Christiana, who's been taken violently ill, dies before her mother's horrified eyes despite the ministrations of the host of doctors summoned to her bedside. The next day, at the offices of the Evening Chronicle, Charles confides his unease to fellow journalist William Aga. How could Christiana Lugoson have become mortally ill when none of the other dinner guests were affected? William recalls the similar death of another young woman, Marie Rueff, just one year ago at Epiphany. Watching young Charles sniff out the connection between the two deaths is only part of the fun. Readers can also watch the sweet, unsurprising romance between Charles and Kate unfold at a modest but steady pace and can travel through a historical London that's vivid without being overcrowded with detail. Each character's voice is distinctive and appropriate to the period, and Redmond's exposition is as stately and lucid as any contemporary reader could wish. Redmond, who writes romance under the names Heather Hiestand and Anh Leod, adds crime to her portfolio. Mystery fans and history buffs alike should cheer.”– Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW

 

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