This is the fifth installment in Andrea Penrose’s Wrexford and Sloane series, set in London in the early 1800’s. In each novel, Penrose folds in some sort of scientific discovery, and in this one, the discovery involves a cure for malaria, a huge problem at the time. Set in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Penrose also includes some real-life scientists (read her interesting author’s note), while at the same time creating an exciting adventure and a bit of romance.
When the series opened, Lady Charlotte Sloane was a widow who had slipped into her late husband’s career as a satiric artist. She works anonymously, often causing a stir when her work is published in the paper. She assists her now fiancée, Lord Wrexford in investigations. As the book opens, he is introducing her to society at a huge gathering at the Botanical Garden as his future bride. Unfortunately, a dead body is discovered during the course of the evening, and Wrexford, a now well known amateur sleuth, is called in for advice.