In Family Plot by Sheri Cobb South, Lady Fieldhurst goes with her late husband’s parents to the Drury Theater to watch Hamlet when she spots Bow Street Runner John Pickett seated in the cheap seats. Summoning him to call on her in her box gets her in big trouble with her in-laws, who decide to send her, along with the three sons of her husband’s cousin, to Scotland. On their way to the relatives in Scotland, Lady Fieldhurst and the boys decide to take their own personal detour and stay incognito at an inn. However, to keep their identities secret, Lady Fieldhurst registers as Mrs. Julia Pickett, with the boys as her nephews.
Soon upon arriving, the quartet go for a walk along the beach when one boy discovers the body of a woman lying on the sand, and all are relieved to discover her still alive. One of the young men from Ravenscroft Manor, the local castle, helps to take her back to the manor and identifies her as his cousin Elspeth, who disappeared into the sea 15 years earlier. Someone decides to send for someone from Bow Street to determine that the woman is the real Elspeth. Thinking that a trip to Scotland will do good to get Pickett’s mind off the lady he loves but who is too out of his reach socially, Mr. Cahoun takes the young detective with him to Scotland to investigate.
Upon arriving at the inn, John Pickett is astonished to be told that his wife is there, waiting for him. Entering the room assigned to them, the Runner surprises Lady Fieldhurst as much as he is surprised. The two quickly decide to work together to get to the bottom of things, with events becoming even more dramatic when a suspicious death occurs.
Family Plot kept me riveted as I listened to it today. The book wouldn’t let me turn it off because it fascinated me so much. The plot has some interesting angles to it, and the romantic elements were delightful too. I enjoyed the setting of being taken to Scotland in this book. The characters added to the fun of the plot as they interacted with each other, especially as Lady Fieldhurst and John Pickett pretend to be married.
Joel Froomkin does an excellent job of bringing this book to life in the audio edition of the book. Somehow, his voice seems to fit well within the 18th century, making me feel like I was being transported to the past. He plays the role of Pickett with just the right degree of expression, showing Pickett’s suppressed longing for Lady Fieldhurst anod the confliction of the lady.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of listening to Family Plot. The story held onto my interest tightly and now has me anxious to listen to the next book in the series. I give the book five stars!
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