Saturday, April 19, 2008

Three Nights of Sin-Anne Mallory

Three Nights of Sin
Anne Mallory
Avon, May 2008, $5.99
ISBN: 9780061242410

In 1825, the aristocracy shows its fickleness when they shut out Marietta Winters following the arrest of her brother Kenny for the Middlesex Murder. Impoverished with no place to go, Marietta learns that mysterious Gabriel Noble might be able to help her, but she cannot pay his fee whatever that is as her other brother spendthrift Mark has bankrupted them.

Still desperate to save her brother from hanging, Marietta visits Gabriel. He demands she provide him with three favors in remittance for his help. Her reputation ruined by her sibling’s scandal anyway and with a need to save his life, she agrees to THREE NIGHTS OF SIN. Initially he just has her assist him on his investigation. Soon she falls in love with Gabriel, but fears once the case is solved he will dump her.

The premise of paying her debt in sex has been used before, but Marietta and Gabriel refreshes it with their teaming on the homicide investigation although their falling in love is deftly handled. Gabriel feels the son of a butler and a governess is not good enough for an aristocrat so though he has changed from THREE NIGHTS OF SIN to needing forever, he plans to let his beloved go; Marietta thinks otherwise as she has found her love. The murder mystery is well done, but it is the relationship that makes Ann Mallory’s Regency tale into a terrific romantic whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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