If The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne doesn’t grab you with the name alone, are you positive you’re a mystery fan?
Cecily Kay has come to the London domestic of the titular collector, hoping to definitively identify a few plants by comparing them to specimens in Barnaby Mayne’s Plant Room, by far the least interesting of his voluminous collections. When Mayne is stabbed to demise and a meek man confesses, Cecily smells a rat and uses her analytical skills to piece collectively the truth. To find out what sincerely happened, she should dive into the realm of collectors, whose hobbies often spill over into obsession.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Elsa Hart explains why the world of Englightenment-era collectors is the suitable placing for a thriller.
This is a note-perfect whodunit, or even if Mayne went about his enterprise unmolested it might nevertheless be a deliciously creepy novel. Author Elsa Hart (Jade Dragon Mountain) has terrific amusing with the time period—it’s set in 1703—and the headaches of technological know-how and truth running headlong into mythology and occult beliefs. For a passionate collector, having their life’s paintings housed in an established and esteemed collection after demise conferred a sort of immortality. But some collectors sought a quicker route to electricity through rituals and rites. High society and the secret societies within make a first-rate backdrop for a tale that regularly hinges at the ways ladies are presumed unimportant, thus allowing them to explore and discover evidence even as going undetected.