DEATH BRINGS A SHADOW is the fourth novel in the Gilded Age Mystery series by Rosemary Simpson. The novel will be published on November 26th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation.
In DEATH BRINGS A SHADOW, private investigators Prudence MacKenzie and Geoffrey Hunter leave Manhattan behind as they travel to one of the islands off the coast of Georgia so that Prudence can be the Maid of Honor at her friend’s wedding to a Southern gentleman. Not long after the wedding party arrives at Bradford Island, Eleanor Dickson confides in Prudence that the she is uncomfortable on the island and that she is convinced someone or something is watching her from the swamp. Prudence, as well as everyone else, assumes that Eleanor has a bad case of pre-wedding jitters. Then, mere days before the wedding, Eleanor’s lifeless body is found submerged in the alligator-infested swamp. While her parents and her fiancé’s family are willing to believe that Eleanor wandered off and suffered a terrible accident, Prudence is convinced that her friend was murdered. With help from Geoffrey and the heartbroken groom, Prudence seeks justice and answers. When more residents of Bradford Island are found murdered, Prudence realizes that she is uncovering the island’s dark history – and that she is in danger of becoming the next casualty of the person determined to keep the secrets hidden.
DEATH BRINGS A SHADOW takes Prudence out of her comfort zone of Manhattan, and thrusts her into Geoffrey’s former home in the South. Despite being a well-educated woman (for the time period), Prudence is nearly clueless when it comes to the ways of the South – especially the antebellum south. Geoffrey – a native of North Carolina – is practically back on his home turf, and he finds himself slipping back into his old ways. More of Geoffrey’s past is revealed in DEATH BRINGS A SHADOW than in the previous three books, and the reader (and Prudence) get to see a different side of him.
The mystery aspect of the novel was intriguing – why would someone want to kill a young woman on the eve of her marriage? While the suspect pool was limited to residents of Bradford Island, Simpson provided the reader with multiple plausible suspects and motives. Simpson encapsulates the history of slavery in the South, the ravages of the Civil War, and the post-war attitude of the impoverished Southern landowners. Aside from the plot getting a little twisted at times, DEATH BRINGS A SHADOW was an enjoyable read. I’m already looking forward to the next novel in the series.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.