THE SHADOW PRINCESS, by Mary Hart Perry
To catch one of history’s most notorious killers, a princess risks losing her family, her life—and her heart…
London, 1888: A year after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee terror mounts in the city's slums. A killer has butchered two prostitutes, the crimes brutal even by London’s hardened standards. Rumors of the murders reach Princess Vicky, daughter of Queen Victoria and grieving widow of the German Emperor Frederick III. When her niece Princess Maud visits, she brings with her even worse news--the Metropolitan Police have a suspect. It’s Vicky’s nephew, Crown Prince Eddy. Desperate to clear her family's name, Vicky rushes back to England.
Detective Inspector Thomas Edmondson believes there is a royal cover-up behind the killings. He will stop at nothing to expose the truth and bring a murderer to justice before he can kill again. But when Vicky joins him in searching for the man who will become known as Jack the Ripper, neither of them foresee the overpowering attraction that will draw together the royal and the commoner—or the danger their love puts them in.
Read the first two books in the series The Wild Princess and Seducing the Princess.
MY REVIEW OF THE SHADOW PRINCESS
The Shadow Princess by Mary Hart Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Shadow Princess by Mary Hart Perry is a 2014 Diversion Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Vicky, daugter of Queen Victoria , has returned to England after the death of her husband, bringing her daugher, Sophie, with her. She returns just as the first murders are being commited by the infamous "Jack the Ripper". Queen Victoria confides in her daughter that Eddy, the queen's grandson is a suspect in the killings and the public is accusing the queen of trying to lead the investigators away from Eddy. So, the Queen packs up for a little trip and pleads with Vicky to keep close tabs on the case. Vicky isn't the only one the inserts themselves into the investigation. Her daughter and niece also attempt to discover who the ripper is in a misguided attempt to prove Eddy isn't the killer.
Once Vicky meets the Inspector, Thomas Edmondson, the two have an instant chemistry between them. While Edmondton is leaning toward a royal coverup he is still interested in seeing Vicky and hearing her opinions. In fact, the two begin to make up reasons to see one another to the utter horror of Vicky's daughter, Sophie. How could her mother keep company with with a commoner?
The press also have their hands in things as they throw around all sorts of theories and accusations.
As members of the royal family find themselves crawling around in White Chapel at night looking for the ripper, more killings take place and more pressure is added to the Inspector to find the culprit.
This historical fiction/ Victorian era romantic mystery was a very enjoyable read. While it is obvious the author did research and added real live events to the story, there were many liberties taken and if you keep in mind that this story was written for entertainment purposes, you will find yourself swept up in the adventure and romance.
The class differences and the duty both Vicky and Thomas must uphold makes their relationship impossible. Vicky would love to just toss all of it aside and fall headlong into an affair with Thomas, but of course in reality this could never happen. In the end they would both regret such a decision. So, we are left wondering if we will be cheated out of the HEA.
The identity of Jack the Ripper would remain a mystery for many, many years. Recently some historicans and authors believe they know who the ripper was , and I think they make a strong case. They author gives us her version of who the killer is and wraps things up explaining why the killer remained anoymous all these years. The story of Vicky and Thomas also concludes with more satisfaction than I thought it would.
Writing about Jack the Ripper makes it impossible to avoid some graphic depictions, but overall the author did a good job of keeping that to a minimum. There was a nice balance between the mystery, the adventure, and the romance. The characters are familiar to us, but the author puts her own stamp on their personalities and motives.
If you enjoy historical mysteries and romances you will like this one as long as you take it all too seriously. Oveall this one is a B.
Mary@MaryHartPerry.com to tell her what you enjoy most about historical fiction.