R. J. Koreto has been a financial journalist and some of his work has appeared in mystery magazines. “Death On the Sapphire” is his first novel and highlights Frances Ffolkes, the sister of a Marquis. She is very active in civic organizations and a suffragette, which dismays her brother tremendously. She is very independent and lives in a hotel for ladies instead of the family home. Her dutiful lady’s maid, June Mallow is her constant companion and the two of them can really stir the soup.
A good friend of the family, Major Danny Colcombe, is reported to have committed suicide, but his sister does not believe that and asks Franny to look into it because she knows that Franny is quite resourceful. The Major was working on a manuscript about the Boer War in South Africa and especially on one campaign of the war in which many soldiers were killed. Speculation is that the troops were sent into a unfortunate situation that couldn’t help but turn out badly with many casualties. The exposure of this doomed military foray could damage the careers and reputations of a few important and influential military and government men. After Colcombe’s death, the manuscript comes up missing and a series of murders occurs. Franny is determined to find the manuscript, expose the murderers and clear the Major’s name and see that he gets the posthumous recognition that he deserves.
I think this first book of Koreto’s series starring Lady Frances Ffolkes is a winner and I am eagerly anticipating the next books in the series.
I received a free print copy of this book from NightOwlReviews.com. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.