THE SUDBURY SCHOOL MURDERS (Amateur Sleuth-England-1817) – VG Gardner, Ashley – 4th in series
Prime Crime, 2005 – Paperback

Retired dragoon, Captain Gabriel Lacy, and his manservant, Bartholomew, have left London for the Sudbury School where Lacey has taken the post of secretary to the school's headmaster, Everard Rutledge. The school has been beset with pranks and Rutledge wants Lacy to find out who's behind them. But it's no prank when there's a murder.

These days, it's not easy to find a true mystery with a murder, clues and a solution. This is just such a book! Captain Lacey is an interesting character, one whose merits are seen and valued by others much more than him. He is a strong, appealing character with a history and unresolved issues. Lacey is supported by interesting secondary characters and a vivid depiction of the time period. The dialogue is well done; neither so focused on being of the period it slows down ones reading, nor so modern as to be anachronistic. The story is involving so that I read it straight through. I very much enjoyed this book but it is best to read the series from the beginning. The good news is that the 5th book is due out June 2006.

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