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London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She's no stranger to the glittering world of London's upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn't expect is the dead body in Lady Walter's garden. Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail. But she's willing to leave the matter to the local constables--until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused, Lily realizes she's the only one with the key to catching the killer. Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend's husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London's social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now, Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the murderer's next target.
Praise for The Body in the Garden:
"Schellman's well-researched fiction debut uses nuanced, elegant prose to depict a fully realized world."
"The mixed-race identities of her partners in crime solving and the methods through which they navigate London society add richness to the tale beyond mere Regency-era tropes...Pleasant."
“[An] enjoyable debut...Schellman’s colorful detective trio and skillful use of historical fact will appeal to fans of Catherine Lloyd.”
"Sensitive handling of class and race issues common to London in the early 1800s give the story depth...[A] smashing debut."
—BookPage, starred review
“The Body in the Garden is a perfect London crime novel and a masterful debut; fast-paced, expertly researched, and intricately plotted. I actually gasped when I got to the end!”
—Alex Grecian, New York Times bestselling author (The Yard, The Saint of Wolves and Butchers, etc.)
“[An] elegant, excellently-paced, and thoroughly engrossing mystery. Filled with charm, wit, and vivid historical detail, Katharine Schellman’s debut is a pure delight from start to finish!”
—Ashley Weaver, author of the Amory Ames Mysteries
"Clever and satisfying, this debut novel delivers characters that draw you in and plot twists that keep you guessing. Fans of Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily mysteries will want to set aside space on their bookshelves for the adventures of widowed amateur sleuth Lily Adler."
—Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician's Lie and Woman 99