“Caught in Time” by Julie McElwain is a thrilling action mystery featuring Kendra Donovan, an FBI agent who was thrown into the past, to 1815 Regency England. It’s a far cry from the 21st century and her life as a profiler for the FBI, but in each of the three Kendra Donovan mystery novels, Donovan manages to get embroiled in a murder, and she’s the best chance at getting the real culprit found.
Donovan was lucky in that when she went back in time she ended up on the estate of the Duke of Aldridge, and he took an interest in her. She confided her secret to both the duke and his nephew and heir, Alec. In the previous books, she and Alec had fallen in love, but Donovan doesn’t want to stay in the past. She’s determined to return to the future — the future she came from, and she’s careful to not do or say anything that might change the future.
When traveling through a small village, Donovan and the duke are caught in a terrible fog which causes them to spend the night at the local inn. As luck would have it, the manager of the nearby mill is murdered, and the two decide to investigate. The Luddites, a group of men opposing new technology for weaving cotton and depriving men of gainful employment, are thought to have committed the murder. When Donovan immediately sees that the Luddites could not have committed the murder, she and the duke decide to stay to find out who did.
There are several possibilities, and the matter grows more serious when the murdered manager’s wife and housekeeper are also killed. McElwain keeps the interest high with many new and fascinating characters. The local Lord Bancroft appears to be intensely interested in Donovan, and his scrutiny makes her nervous. There is the local farmer who is abusive to his wife, and Donovan’s investigation uncovers just how abusive he is. The many unsavory characters add to the suspense.
This book is just as absorbing and fun to read as the first two, and there’s a great twist at the end. If you haven’t started the series, feel free to jump in with this one or start at the beginning with “A Murder in Time” and its sequel “A Twist in Time.”
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Pegasus Books, the publisher, for review purposes.