Audiobook review: Masquerade in London by Emily L. Finch
Forced to live with her controlling uncle after her parents died, Samantha has done her best not to upset Sir Arthur lest she deal with his wrath. When her aunt and uncle are murdered and Samantha found on the scene, she must flee and find a way to get back to her family to let them know what happened. Luckily, V.T. Wyatt comes to her aid when he realizes the murders may be connected to some robberies he’s investigating.
Masquerade in London is a delightful historical mystery, filled with exciting twists and thrilling action. New-to-me author Emily L. Finch creates two wonderful main characters in Samantha and Wyatt, bringing them to life and creating a lovely friendship that I hope deepens as the series continues. Through dialogue and action, both characters show their true mettle as they deal with the stress of murder and kidnapping.
The mystery of who killed her family and how they may or may not be tied to the robberies is well-developed. The threads are well woven and the story spooled out at just the right speed. I loved watching Samantha and Wyatt run through different scenarios while developing mutual trust and respect. While the beginning of the book is a little slow, once the murders occur, the tempo is great. While there is no hint of romance, I feel like that underlying current has started to flow.
Narration: The story is shared via the alternating third person POVs of Samantha and Wyatt. Lee uses what I would call a proper English accent for the narrator, using the same feminine voice for both POVs. She continues with that voice for Samantha, but alters all other dialogue based on gender and age. Each main character and significant supporting characters are unique and identifiable. I am not an expert on accents, but to my ears, the narrator does a good job altering the voices to suit the social class of the character, including Samantha, who has to alter her own accent to hide among the poor. Lee also does wonderful job of infusing emotion into to her performance.
In the end, I completely enjoyed listening to Masquerade in London and look forward to the next book in the Samantha and Wyatt Mysteries.
About the Book:
London, 1861. Samantha Kingston has lived under the control of her overbearing uncle since the death of her parents six years ago. Trapped by the conventions of her gender and social class, she is desperate to find a way out. But when her aunt and uncle are murdered, the freedom she sought seems even further out of reach. A suspect in the crime, she finds herself on the run, unsure whom to trust, lost in the underworld she had only ever read about in the pages of a Dickens novel.
V.T. Wyatt has defied his aristocratic upbringing to pursue a life as a private investigator. After an unusual first meeting, he hires Samantha to help him solve a rash of burglaries. Soon, a connection between the burglaries and the murders emerges, drawing Samantha and Wyatt even closer together as they race to solve both mysteries and clear her name.
Author: Emily L. Finch
Narrator: Polly Lee
Series: Samantha and Wyatt Mysteries #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Audiobook Release Date: October 10, 2023
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 10 Hours; 51 mins
Audio Speed: 1.4x