Mistress of Lies is the second book in Holly West’s series featuring 17th-century amateur sleuth Isabel Wilde (available September 29, 2014).
The events of Mistress of Fortune have left Lady Isabel Wilde shaken. Her best friend and confidant has run off, her business is lagging, and while she’s been spending more time with the king, she’s not so sure where that’s going either. His offer for her to move in is tempting, but Wilde is reluctant to find herself under his thumb again.
Meanwhile, a young beggar girl appears on her doorstep and claims to be the daughter of Wilde’s eldest brother, Adam. And though the girl holds up a ring Adam clearly crafted as proof, it goes against everything Isabel thought she knew about her brother’s last days.
My intake of breath was audible. The name she uttered, Susanna Barber, was that of my long-dead mother.
“WHat game are you playing?” I said, frowning. “Tell me your real name!”
“My lady?” Charlotte said, reacting to me. “Is something amiss?”
“She calls herself by my mother’s name!”
The girl’s eyes welled. “You’re angry. I’ve made a terrible mess of things, haven’t I?”
“Tell me the truth then,” I said. “Who are you really?”
“Tis the truth. My name is Susanna Barber, I swear it. My father was Adam Barber. I’m your niece.”
I stepped back, stunned. What she said was impossible. My brother Adam died of the plague in 1665, unmarried and without children.