A review by rivulet027
Daring Duplicity, by Edale Lane


Five novellas about a Victorian sapphic detective! That was all it took for me to want to read this book! Each mystery was entertaining and a fun light read. The author uses commentary on classism of the time period to ground the novellas in the world she is building for her heroine, Stetson. There are also two romances. I was worried about this at first, but I didn’t need to be. Jewel needs assistance uncovering a blackmailer in the first novella and she and Stetson start a romance which isn’t meant to last. The writing makes this clear. By the second novella the two have broken up, but Stetson meets Evelyn, who is her love interest for the rest of the interconnected novellas. While the affair with Jewel was full of passion and quickly built, made even more exciting by Stetson rescuing Jewel when she’s kidnapped, the romance with Evelyn is slow building and clearly meant to last. Stetson and Evelyn meet when Evelyn hires Detective Wellington (Stetson’s alter ego) to uncover the person who murdered her lover Sophie. So when they meet Stetson is still emotionally dealing with her breakup with Jewel whole Evelyn is grieving. This is dealt with deftly and in an ultimately satisfying way that doesn’t bog down the quick pace of the novellas. Jewel and Evelyn even met and team-up in the last novella!

There are also plenty of disguises and gadgets that Stetson employs to help her solve the cases that are brought to Wellington. The fight scenes are well-written and easy to follow and it was interesting to see how Stetson’s understanding of people helped her solve each case differently.

I received an advanced reader copy for free and am leaving this review voluntarily.