At her friend Ivy's behest, Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of a man she finds odious. But the despised Lord Fortescue is not to be her greatest problem. Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves, is a guest also. And a tedious evening turns deadly when their host is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon—Ivy's husband—is arrested for the crime.
Determined to right a terrible wrong, Emily embarks on a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets—and into a game of wits with a notorious anarchist. But putting Colin in deadly peril may be the price for exonerating Robert—forcing the intrepid Emily to bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange, for the life of her fiancé.
“A pleasant reminder of Golden Age mysteries that keep you guessing until the denouement.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Fascinating and stylish characters fill out a finely tuned traditional mystery.” —Publishers Weekly
“Well, darling, who do you suppose will turn up dead this time?”
With two murder investigations behind them and their marriage at last on steady ground, Amory and Milo Ames intend to winter quietly in Italy. The couple finds their plans derailed, however, when Amory receives an urgent summons to the English countryside from her cousin Laurel. At Lyonsgate, the country house of Laurel’s friend Reginald Lyons, Amory and Milo are surprised to discover an eccentric and distinguished group of guests have also been invited, led by the notorious socialite Isobel Van Allen.
After years of social exile, Isobel has returned to England to write a sequel to her scandalous first book, the thinly fictionalized account of a high society murder at the very country house to which the Ameses have been called. Her second incriminating volume, she warns the house’s occupants—all of whom were present when one of their companions was killed years ago—will tell everything that really happened that fateful night. But some secrets are meant to stay buried, and when a desperate person turns to murder, it’s up to Amory and Milo to sort through a web of scandal and lies to uncover the truth, and the identity of a killer.
Also out now in the Amory Ames mysteries: Murder at the Brightwell and Death Wears a Mask
A Study in Scarlet is the genre-defining work with which popular crime fiction was born. A potent mix of serial murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings and revenge, the novel introduces us to the world-famous characters of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Inspector Lestrade and sees Sherlock and Dr Watson meet and join forces for the first time as they track a mysterious killer that stalks London's streets.
In addition to the original text, this edition also has an introduction by Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, who explains how it inspired the Sherlock script.