The Devil in Beauty: A Lord Trevelin Mystery (The Lord Trevelin Mysteries Book 1)


HISTORICAL:  Julian Silvester, the Marquis of Trevelin, has fallen from grace amongst the stars of English Society in 1811. After receiving a nasty scar marring the side of his face during a scandalous duel over a married woman, Julian has all but given up hope of being well received by his peers—much less finding a woman who will look past his glaring faults and become his wife. When the teenage son from a neighboring house is murdered, the marquis welcomes the opportunity to bolster his reputation by finding the real killer, releasing his innocent friend from prison as well. Will his investigation endanger both Julian and his new pair of hard-won friends much greater than he ever imagined possible?

Readers who love novels by the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen will delight in this journey backward through time. Some may find the language, especially in the first third, unnecessarily cumbersome, but the effort to remain true to the language of Julian’s day is a bold undertaking done quite well in places where the rhetoric is not overdone. There are several moments when the marquis comes across unduly superior, making it difficult for the reader to relate to or even like him. He breaks the ‘bro code’ with one of the only peers to befriend him and constantly looks down on others via his inner monologue. He says of the only woman to pay him a bit of attention, “I knew she was no beauty…” The mystery and moments during which Julian shows compassion and humility, though, make the novel quite a worthwhile read.

Claudette Melanson