The Unsolved Case of The Secret Christmas Baby
A Victorian Cozy Mystery (The Mrs Imogene Lynch Series Book 1)
by Hannah Byron
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Pub Date 06 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 22 Dec 2022
A presumed dead baby who's just turned fifty, a grieving widow on a mission, a female haberdasher hiding a scandalous secret
The Cotswolds, England, December 1895
Fifty-year-old Imogene Lynch has recently moved to the tight-knit community of Dartmond after her husband passed away.
In the decades of her husband's job as chief constable of the neighboring Landdulton, the childless Imogene often assisted him in solving seemingly unsolvable crimes. On his deathbed Thaddeus Lynch has one last request to his wife: solve the secret Christmas baby's mystery.
Overcome by grief, but with the promise as a stamp on her heart, Imogene sets out in her roundabout way to unearth Sir Finley Lowther's mysterious origins. The first trace leads to Miss Eloise Platt, a well-respected Dartmond shopkeeper.
But when a baby's skull is dredged up from the bottom of Tiverstock Lake and Miss Eloise confesses to the murder, Mrs Imogene Lynch faces a stalemate. While the Dartmonders squabble over Miss Platt's fate, the widow-turned-detective worries she'll never fulfil her promise.
To break through her impasse, she pays a visit to the elderly Lady Lowther in Ridgeview Asylum with far-reaching consequences. For Imogene, the mystery is now solved, but getting Miss Platt to tell the truth is another matter.
With her characteristic quirky style, Mrs Lynch confides in the most unlikely candidate in her arsenal, her landlord, Mr Richard Hopewell. If the mute bookkeeper can shed light on what he witnessed on that fateful Christmas Day in 1845, she has the ally she needs to confront Miss Platt.
After fifty-one years, Constable Thaddeus Lynch's brown file on the Secret Christmas Baby can be closed for good. With Finley's adoption mystery solved and Miss Platt redeemed, all Dartmond joins in the merry 1896 Christmas celebrations.
This first book in the Victorian Cozy Mystery Series introduces Mrs Imogene Lynch, a willy-nilly detective who talks too much and eats too little.