Monday, February 21, 2011
Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins
I found the recommendation for Point of Honour and Petty Treason by Madeleine E. Robins on John Hemry’s web site when I was looking for information about his upcoming Black Jack Geary book. When I went to Amazon to purchase I found that Point of Honour released in 2003 was out of print, and Petty Treason released in 2006 was the only other book listed in the series. After doing some research I was happy to find the following posted 02-02-2011 on Madeleine's Live Journal.
“Sold to Jacqueline Smay at Plus One Press in a nice deal, The Sleeping Partner: a Sarah Tolerance Mystery. To be published Autumn, 2011.”
Like the Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries, Point of Honour is set in the Regency Period and has a touch of romance to go with the mystery. However, it is missing the trademark HEA of a Regency Romance. Madeleine Robins has also chosen to change some of the history of the period and explains those changes in A Note of History and Thanks in the back of Point of Honour.
Sarah Tolerance is the main character in Point of Honour. Sarah ran away with her fencing master when she was sixteen, lived with him until he died but they never got around to getting married. As a result she is a Fallen Woman. To quote Madeleine Robins “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.” Sarah chooses to make a life for herself outside of that expectation. Upon returning to England after the death of her fencing master she becomes an Agent of Inquiry instead of a courtesan. She uses her skill with a pistol and sword as well as her sharp mind to become a private investigator known for being discreet. Because of her background she can “float between social layers, unearth secrets, find thing that were lost, and lose thing too dangerous to be kept.” As Point of Honour opens Sarah has finished a case where a wife who holds the purse strings hires Sarah to find out where her husband is hiding his latest indiscretions using her money.
Sarah’s next case starts when The Earl of Versellion asks her to find a Italian fan that was given by his Father to his mistress 20 years ago. What Sarah uncovers leads to murder and betrayal. Look for more than a few twists and turns as the story progresses. Point of Honour is a great start to a series. Madeline Robins has taken a slice of Regency England, filled it with great characters, a wonderful plot and many possibilities for future novels.
TOR published Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins in 2003.