The Masterful Mr. Montague

Casebook of Barnaby Adair

Book 2
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens pulls back the curtain on a world that has been hidden from us . . . until now.

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally . . . and personally.

Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order. But the famous Montague is not at all what she’d expected—this man is compelling, decisive, supportive, and strong—everything Violet needs in a champion, a position to which Montague rapidly lays claim.

But then Lady Halstead is murdered and Violet and Montague, aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes, Penelope, and Griselda, race to expose a cunning and cold-blooded killer who stalks closer and closer. Will Montague and Violet learn the shocking truth too late to seize their chance at enduring love?

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Apr 29, 2014
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780062066299
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens knows the world of Regency London . . . especially the exclusive enclave of luxury in which the aristocracy lived in wealth and comfort. But outside that glittering circle lay another world . . . and Laurens pulls back the curtain that has hidden it from us—until now.

Penelope Ashford, Portia Cynster's younger sister, has grown up with every advantage—wealth, position, and beauty. Yet Penelope is anything but a pretty face in a satin gown—forceful, willful, and blunt to a fault, she has for years devoted her considerable energy and intelligence to caring for the forgotten orphans of London's sooty and seamier streets.

But now her charges are mysteriously disappearing. Desperate, Penelope turns to the one man she knows who might help her—Barnaby Adair.

Handsome scion of a noble house, Adair has made a name for himself in certain circles where his powers of observation and deduction have seen him solve several serious and unsavory crimes within the ton. His pedigree, relentless intelligence, and discretion make him a deadly avenger in an elegant guise. Despite his skills—or perhaps because of them—he makes Penelope distinctly uncomfortable, but the stakes are too grave. Throwing caution to the wind, defying every rule for unmarried ladies, she appears on his doorstep late one night determined to recruit his talents.

Barnaby is intrigued—both by her problem and her. Her bold beauty and undeniable brains make a striking contrast to the usual insipid ton misses. And as he's in dire need of an excuse to avoid said insipid misses, he accepts her challenge, never dreaming she and it will consume his every waking hour.

Enlisting the aid of Inspector Basil Stokes of the fledgling Scotland Yard, they infiltrate the streets of London's notorious East End. But as they unravel the mystery of the missing orphans, they uncover a trail leading to the upper echelons of society and a ruthless and clever criminal adept at pulling strings who, becoming aware of them and their efforts, is only too ready to destroy all they hold dear, including their newfound understanding of the intrigues of the human heart.

 #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens brings you a tale of mysterious death, feuding families, star-crossed lovers—and shoes to die for.With her husband, amateur-sleuth the Honorable Barnaby Adair, decidedly eccentric fashionable matron Penelope Adair is attending the premier event opening the haut ton’s Season when a body is discovered in the gardens. A lady has been struck down with a finial from the terrace balustrade. Her family is present, as are the cream of the haut ton—the shocked hosts turn to Barnaby and Penelope for help.

Barnaby calls in Inspector Basil Stokes and they begin their investigation. Penelope assists by learning all she can about the victim’s family, and uncovers a feud between them and the Latimers over the fabulous shoes known as Lady Latimer’s shoes, currently exclusive to the Latimers.

The deeper Penelope delves, the more convinced she becomes that the murder is somehow connected to the shoes. She conscripts Griselda, Stokes’s wife, and Violet Montague, now Penelope’s secretary, and the trio set out to learn all they can about the people involved, and most importantly the shoes, a direction vindicated when unexpected witnesses report seeing a lady fleeing the scene—wearing Lady Latimer’s shoes.

But nothing is as it seems, and the more Penelope and her friends learn about the shoes, conundrums abound, compounded by a Romeo-and-Juliet romance and escalating social pressure…until at last the pieces fall into place, and finally understanding what has occurred, the six intrepid investigators race to prevent an even worse tragedy.

A pre-Victorian mystery with strong elements of romance. A novel of 76,000 words.
An entry in The Casebook of Barnaby Adair series, the events in this novel occur between the events described in the Casebook novels, THE MASTERFUL MR. MONTAGUE and the upcoming LOVING ROSE: THE REDEMPTION OF MALCOLM SINCLAIR.

Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens
“Laurens’s writing shines.” Publishers Weekly
“Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters.” Historical Romance Reviews.

Praise for Where the Heart Leads: Volume 1 in the Casebook of Barnaby Adair
"A satisfying blend of mystery and romance." Publishers Weekly 
"In an Amanda Quick-style suspense/romance, Laurens never loses touch with her characters' deep emotions or the haunting mystery." Romantic Times
Do you believe in fate? Do you believe in passion? What happens when fate and passion collide?
Do you believe in love? What happens when fate, passion, and love combine?
This. This…

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to Scotland with a tale of two lovers irrevocably linked by destiny and passion.

Thomas Carrick is a gentleman driven to control all aspects of his life. As the wealthy owner of Carrick Enterprises, located in bustling Glasgow, he is one of that city’s most eligible bachelors and fully intends to select an appropriate wife from the many young ladies paraded before him. He wants to take that necessary next step along his self-determined path, yet no young lady captures his eye, much less his attention...not in the way Lucilla Cynster had, and still did, even though she lives miles away.

For over two years, Thomas has avoided his clan’s estate because it borders Lucilla’s home, but disturbing reports from his clansmen force him to return to the countryside—only to discover that his uncle, the laird, is ailing, a clan family is desperately ill, and the clan-healer is unconscious and dying. Duty to the clan leaves Thomas no choice but to seek help from the last woman he wants to face.

Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla has been waiting—increasingly impatiently—for Thomas to return and claim his rightful place by her side. She knows he is hers—her fated lover, husband, protector, and mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. And, at last, he’s back. Even though his returning wasn’t on her account, Lucilla is willing to seize whatever chance Fate hands her.

Thomas can never forget Lucilla, much less the connection that seethes between them, but to marry her would mean embracing a life he's adamant he does not want.

Lucilla sees that Thomas has yet to accept the inevitability of their union and, despite all, he can refuse her and walk away. But how can he ignore a bond such as theirs—one so much stronger than reason? Despite several unnerving attacks mounted against them, despite the uncertainty racking his clan, Lucilla remains as determined as only a Cynster can be to fight for the future she knows can be theirs—and while she cannot command him, she has powerful enticements she’s willing to wield in the cause of tempting Thomas Carrick.

A neo-Gothic tale of passionate romance laced with mystery, set in the uplands of southwestern Scotland.

A Cynster Second Generation Novel – a classic historical romance of 122,000 words.

 

Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens

“Stephanie Laurens’ heroines are marvelous tributes to Georgette Heyer: feisty and strong.” Cathy Kelly

 “Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters.” Historical Romance Reviews

“Stephanie Laurens plays into readers’ fantasies like a master and claims their hearts time and again.”  Romantic Times Magazine

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