The Study of Silence
#3 Lady Evelyn Mystery
by Malia Zaidi
Formats available: Paperback, Electronic
Pub Date: 2.27.18| 448 pages
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
eARC provided by Net Galley for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh’s, a women’s college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning, when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn’s own detriment?https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36978556-the-study-of-silence
Another Lady Evelyn murder mystery adventure set in the sparkling 1920’s that provides an engaging murder for her to solve while she ponders the lot of women and faces a little more of her past.
The last book left Evie and Daniel looking to return to England after a long sojourn and several adventures since either of them last touched home soil. Evie has put off Daniel though she knows for certain that she loves him. He has returned to London to attempt reintegrating into his family business with difficulty and life post-war and Evie is in Oxford pursuing an education in the Classics of Literature. Naturally, Evie, being a trouble magnet, stumbles across a murder right in her own sphere and she is off tracking down clues, interfering with the local police, and making herself a target to the terror of Daniel and her family.
What is enjoyable about this series is its wonderful blend of history and mystery, but also ongoing personal story of the main character. Each book tackles a new element of history and in this case, it was women’s history and the city of Oxford in the Twenties. Evie is in Oxford attending university so The Study of Silence focuses on women scholars and challenges that face women trying to get an education and what they can do afterward along with the challenges for women who are in a lower social status and have to go without the education and attempt to work without feeling unsafe from abuse in their work environment.
Evie also ponders woman’s issues and her future. But, she still has the niggles of her past. Does she sell her family’s estate since she can’t even bring herself to visit and definitely not live there since her parents died in the fire and hence move on or keep it in the family and force herself to go back? Then, there is her, irrational perhaps, yet very personal fear that she will be tied down if she commits to Daniel though she knows for certain she can trust him not to abuse her trust and she loves him deeply. Is love enough? Can she have love without the bonds of matrimony tying her down without becoming a social pariah and would Daniel even want a half-way commitment like that? She’s young, but has so much on her mind and it is all part of an engaging story as she works her way through it all.
Mystery-wise, Evie is as Nancy Drew-ish as ever. She insists she is being sensible and safe and even discreet while the reader and everyone else gets a good laugh because she is anything, but. She’s stubborn and bullies the inspector into keeping her involved and she confronts her suspects and witnesses with probing questions. The case teaches her even more about people in that people are complex and not just black or white, but many shades in between when it comes to actions and motives.
I started to get a glimmer as to the killer, but was way off the beam as to why. Just wow! It all made sense and tied together, but most of the time I only had fragments of the truth. This was one of those instances when I know I should be appalled at murder, but the victim was no innocent.
All in all, I was captivated and enjoyed the latest Lady Evelyn mystery. For those who enjoy youthful, intrepid lady detectives in an exciting bygone era, these are for you.
I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.