Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
A Lady in the Smoke, apparently a first novel, is a historical mystery set in both London and more rural England, in 1874, and it literally starts with a bang - a train crash.
Lady Elizabeth Fraser, 20 and in her fourth Season, and her mother, the furious Dowager Countess, are on their way from London to their country home after a disaster of a ball, where no one has wanted to dance with Elizabeth, and rumors are flying that her handsome dowry of 10,000 pounds a year is in question. And then their train crashes. They are pulled from their burning carriage, and a surgeon saves the mother's life, and stitches up the bleeding wound on Elizabeth's head.
And then it slowly becomes clear that the accident may not have been so accidental, that men have died mysteriously, and that Elizabeth's reputation and dowry are also at stake - her dowry is in the form of stock in the railway company. And the price of the shares is collapsing.
Lady Elizabeth is not the type of woman to sit and do nothing while her world collapses around her.
This seems to be a first novel, but doesn't read like it. The mystery is good, the historical fiction is well done, and if it becomes a series, I'd happily read a sequel.
My ARC courtesy of Alibi/Random House and Net Galley - much thanks! My opinions are my own.