“A Twist in Time” by Julia McElwain continues the journey in time that began with “A Murder In Time.” In that story, FBI genius profiler Kendra Donovan travels unexpectedly through a time warp back to 1815 where — as luck would have it — there is a series of murders to solve, all committed by a serial killer.
In this story, which takes place right after the first story ends, Kendra’s stay in Regency Period England continues. A wealthy and wonderfully winsome widow who is not held in high esteem by the titled peers of the realm has been viciously killed in her townhouse.
While few mourn her loss, unfortunately, the prime suspect is Alec Sutcliffe, the nephew of the Duke of Aldridge, and Kendra’s romantic interest. While Kendra had only met Lady Dover once, she is positive that Alec did not kill her, so she feels compelled to investigate and find the true villain.
As in any mystery worth its salt, there is a plethora of possible villains, all with ample motives and opportunities to commit the crime. McElwain cleverly plants a major clue at the beginning of the story, a clue so innocuous, so trifling, that it’s easy to miss until the end — when it becomes all-important.
McElwain is an author to watch. The mystery is carefully researched, and the details make the story both believable and fascinating. The main character becomes more likable after the reader solves another mystery right along with her. She is fearless (and occasionally reckless). She is also loyal and immensely intelligent. Like any good protagonist, she also has her flaws, and in this book, she shares some of them with Alec.
This is a series that is best started at the beginning, but don’t wait. These are not skimpy volumes, but rather over 400 pages of riveting history/mystery. One minor quibble is that while the cover art is lovely, the dress style should be authentic to Regency England.
Please note: This review is based on the advance reading copy provided by Pegasus Crime, the publisher, for review purposes.