I will admit that Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lea Simpson is not normally the kind of book I would pick up. The partially-shirted man on the cover would pretty much steer me away from choosing it. But in this case I would have missed out on a well-formed suspense story with only a touch of romance writing. This book has everything that a good cozy mystery needs -- a tower, a castle, a purported werewolf and a terrible mother-in-law -- all scary things!
Lady Anne is a Georgian spinster who is asked by her friend Lydia to come to her new married home and help her find out about the werewolf that has been scaring locals and killing sheep. Of course, Anne is a woman of reason and is sure there is something far less supernatural menacing the residents of this area of Yorkshire. Anne, upon arriving, literally stumbles across a fresh body and thus decides that her true purpose will be to find out who murdered this girl, Lydia's maid. The only thing in her way is Lydia's handsome brother-in-law, Lord Darkefell, who seems to be keeping secrets of his own.
This book was a fun read and I think it would be a great summer beach book. It was obviously written with a series in mind so I would be interested to see what direction Simpson takes with these characters.
Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark will be released by Sourcebooks in April.
Glad to live in a time of sexual equality,
Buy Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark on Amazon or find it at your local library.