The Berkeley Square Affair by Teresa Grant is the sixth Regency-era mystery with Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch, this time in pursuit of a lost Shakespeare manuscript and facing the darkest secrets of their pasts (available March 25, 2014).
Some mysteries rely on murder or puzzles or a ticking clock for their suspense. The Berkeley Square Affair is a mystery of manners and hidden family secrets.
Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch are a pair of former spies from the Napoleonic wars. The couple has settled down to domestic bliss (at least on the surface) with their two children in Regency London. Inevitably, they’re drawn into a mystery surrounding a lost Shakespeare revision of Hamlet. But Hamlet quickly takes a back seat to ferreting out a generation’s worth of secrets that include murder, infidelity and treason.
And yet, the secret I was most interested in and the one that kept me reading at the edge of my seat was the very personal secret that Suzanne is hiding from Malcolm.
For her husband, the man she had married out of necessity and come to love so much it frightened her, didn’t know she had been a Bonapartist agent when they met. That she had married him to spy for the French. That she had gone on doing so for the first three years of their marriage. That even now, more than two years after she had made the choice to leave off spying, she felt the tug of divided loyalties. That she lived with the constant fear of discovery, like the nagging pain of a headache that never went away or the gnawing ache of a half-healed wound.
That the couple has two children only adds to her fears. When Malcolm discovers the Shakespeare manuscript contains a code that points to a ring of French spies, Suzanne realizes it’s only a matter of time before Malcolm realizes the truth.
[Can he handle the truth?...]