Rutherford Trilogy by Alice Chetwynd Ley. Originally released in 1987, this reformat and re-release from Sapere on 3rd Nov 2019 is 231 pages and available in ebook format (other editions available in other formats). It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.
This is an easy to read Regency historical mystery with a very light and subtle romance subplot. I would not call it a romance. The mystery is engaging and develops apace with murder and blackmail and a fair bit of skullduggery. One particular thing which struck me positively throughout was the author's attention to period detail. The dialogue sounds right and I found no glaring anachronisms when I was reading. I wasn't yanked out of the story by problems with continuity, plotting, or character. I confess that I read this one in one sitting and mostly as a pleasure read-through instead of with an eye mainly toward reviewing, so my notes are not copious.
I hadn't read the first book in the series, but this one works perfectly well as a standalone. I do intend to pick up the other two for a quick read soon. For KU subscribers, most of the author's oeuvre is available in the KU library.
Four stars. Piquant, true to period, and well written.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.