Isabel, Lady Wilde, mistress of King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as fortune teller Mistress Ruby, counseling London’s elite. But after the murder of one of her customers, business has taken a downturn, and Isabel is on the verge of accepting the king’s offer to move into the palace.
Isabel’s plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home, claiming to be her niece. Isabel always believed that her older brother, Adam, died alone during the plague. When Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel is compelled to take up an impossible task: discover the truth about her brother’s death, twelve years after it happened.
Isabel’s investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear-baiting matches and brothels to the realm of wealthy bankers. But as she uncovers her brother’s dark secrets, Isabel begins to wonder whether the past is better left buried—especially when uncovering the truth could lead to her own funeral.
Praise for Mistress of Lies:
“Deliciously addictive! In her capable hands, author Holly West seamlessly recreates a 17th century England full of royal scandal and political intrigue. At the heart of her series is Lady Wilde, unwilling to to be simply defined by her relationship to King Charles II as his mistress. Instead, to makes ends meet and support her loyal entourage, she assumes a secret identity as a fortuneteller, exposing her to new revelations about her own personal history. Even if you may be new to historical fiction set during this era, you will be hooked by this latest installment in the Mistress of Fortune series.”
— Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-winning author of Murder on Bamboo Lane and the Mas Arai mystery series
“Holly West’s Mistress of Lies may be set in 17th century London, but it has the pacing and propulsive narration of a contemporary thriller. Though her protagonist, Lady Isabel Wilde, is a woman of her time and circumstances, her situation, that of an intelligent woman trying to make a place for herself independent of the powerful man she loves but cannot trust, is one that modern readers will relate to. I hope we haven’t seen the last of Lady Wilde — I have a feeling there is much more of her story yet to be told.” —Lisa Brackmann, author of the NYT best-selling Ellie McEnroe series (Rock Paper Tiger and Hour of the Rat)
“With intriguing characters and a winning mystery plot, Holly West plunges you head first into the treacherous England of King Charles II. An absorbing ‘mystorical’ read.” —Jeri Westerson, author of the Crispin Guest medieval mysteries
“In Mistress of Lies, Holly West makes a historical mystery read like a modern thriller; action, plot twists, duplicitous characters, everything you’d want in a mystery of any era! A great read!” —Matt Coyle, Anthony award winning author of Yesterday’s Echo and Night Tremors
“Mistress of Lies is a bravura historical mystery, full of spot-on detail, white-knuckle suspense and captivating, compelling characters. If you haven’t yet caught on to Holly West, don’t miss out–she’s a writer not only to read, but to savor.” —Kelli Stanley, Macavity-award winning author of City of Ghosts