Die I Will Not is the third book in the Regency Mystery series by S.K. Rizzolo. It is a book best read if one has read the previous two books in the series but is easy enough to follow if one has not. I am not sure if some of my issues with the book would have been resolved had I done so, but I found it an enjoyable mystery.
Penelope Wolfe is unhappily married to an artist. His distant relationship with her has given her plenty of time to involve herself with intrigue. Her father, Eustace Sanford, wrote letters under the pen name Collatinus. These letters were connected to the death of a woman known only as N.D.—who had a closer than proper relationship with the Prince Regent. Penelope’s father has been exiled, so when the Collatinus letters begin again, it is a mystery as to the writer’s identity. When the newspaper editor who receives the letters is murdered shortly after Penelope visits him, she seeks assistance from two different men—lawyer Edward Buckler and Bow Street Runner John Chase. The three work together to unmask the identity of the murderer and to unmask the new Collatinus. It is, after all, a matter of life and death.
I found Die I Will Not to be overpopulated by minor characters, and I had a hard time keeping them clear in my mind. This is most likely because many of these characters were not fleshed out. They appeared, did a little (nothing memorable) and showed up later with no context or hints as to who they were. After a slow beginning to Die I Will Not, I figured that it was just not worth the mental energy to remember them all. I was right. Only a handful of characters were significant, and the book suffered from its overstuffed nature.
I found the plot interesting enough and I liked the nature of the mystery. It kept me guessing, and the hint of romance was also well done. The plot led from newspaper office to courtroom to under the city and those changes of locale were most welcome and well done.
In short, I wish about half the characters had been eliminated from the book and that more effort had been made to tighten a compelling plot.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina