Another case for those eminent Victorian sleuths Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, last seen in Summer of Secrets (2021).
Spring 1859 finds a group of engineers striving to solve the problems of the previous summer, when the River Thames was so overwhelmed with effluent from London that thousands died of cholera and Members of Parliament had to hold their noses as they met.
The queen is offering a cash prize and knighthood to the person who can solve the problem, and Dickens, who’s befriended young engineer Joseph Bazalgette, is eager to help. Collins creates his own mystery when a woman’s fearful screams move him to rescue her and her child from a locked house.
He’s delighted when Caroline, an excellent cook, and her pretty and intelligent daughter, now called Carrie, move into his home, and he soon starts spoiling Carrie, even taking her with him on expeditions to view the engineers’ varied plans to solve the sewage problem.
When he hosts a dinner party for men interested in the problem, Caroline, still terrified of her mysterious former captor, overhears a voice that sends her into a frenzy of fear.
A shocking, seemingly accidental death during a demonstration at Bazalgette’s workshop sends Collins and Dickens on a hunt for a killer even though Collins secretly fears that Carrie may be involved.
A period mystery bolstered by an exciting mix of imagination and historical truth.