A Dangerous Mourning: A William Monk Novel
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No breath of scandal has ever touched the aristocratic Moidore family–until Sir Basil’s beautiful widowed daughter is stabbed to death in her own bed, a shocking, incomprehensible tragedy.
Inspector William Monk is ordered to investigate in a manner that will give the least possible pain to the influential family. But Monk, brilliant and ambitious, is handicapped by lingering traces of amnesia and by the craven ineptitude of his supervisor, who would like nothing better than to see Monk fail. With the help of nurse Hester Latterly, a progressive young woman who served with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, Monk gropes warily through the silence and shadows that obscure the case, knowing that with each step he comes closer to the appalling truth.
as if the answer were of intense importance to her. Then before Hester could reply she walked away and started fishing in one of her dressing table drawers searching for something. “Of course you know the police arrested Percival and took him away last night. Mary said it wasn’t Mr. Monk. I wonder why. Do you know, Hester?” There was no possible way Hester could have known the truth except by being privy to police affairs that she could not share. “I have no idea, your ladyship. Perhaps he has
surprise. “Are you an extremely heavy sleeper?” Rathbone asked. “No.” “Did you indulge in much wine that evening?” “No—very little.” Cyprian frowned. “I don’t see the point in your question, sir. My sister was undoubtedly killed in the room next to me. That I did not hear the struggle seems to me to be irrelevant. Percival is much stronger than she …”He looked very pale and had some difficulty in keeping his voice under control. “I presume he overpowered her quickly—” “And she did not cry
only loss, or even necessarily the main one. All London was diminished, perhaps all England, because the law which should protect had instead injured. Hester was standing in the dining room. She had deliberately come to collect an apricot conserve from the table for Beatrice’s tray at precisely this time. If she jeopardized her position, even if she lost it and were dismissed, she wanted to see the faces of the Moidores at the moment of hanging, and to be sure each one of them knew precisely
I might be permitted to speak with Major Geoffrey Tallis? If you would give him my name I believe he will know it. I was one of Miss Nightingale’s nurses”—she was not above using that magic name if it would help— “and I had occasion to tend Major Tallis in Scutari when he was injured. It concerns the death of a widow of a former officer of distinction, and there is a matter to which Major Tallis may be able to assist—with information that would considerably ease the family’s distress. Would you
might have been a superb actress, then she abandoned it. To begin with, why should she? She had no idea Hester would repeat anything she said, let alone everything. Who knew which peignoir Octavia wore that evening? She had left the withdrawing room fully dressed in a dinner gown, as did all the women. Whom had she seen after changing for the night but before retiring? Only Araminta—and her mother. Proud, difficult, cold Araminta. It was she who had hidden her sister’s suicide, and when it was