When the body of a woman is found on the railway tracks, the police initially think it is a case of suicide. When Detective Jack Enright and his uncle Percy discover the true identity of the women, however, they soon realise that all is not what they first assume. Suspecting murder, they need to get close to her family in order to find out the truth, so Jack’s wife, Esther, is tasked to go undercover, putting herself in danger in the process…

The Prodigal Sister is the third book in the Esther & Jack Enright mystery series, and we see the home circumstances of our heroes have changed dramatically. Now married with a young child, Esther isn’t really used to staying at home and so is not completely against the idea of going undercover, even if it could prove to be dangerous. Esther’s role does, indeed, prove to be pivotal in smoking out the killer, even if it is as a result of some rather unorthodox police tactics!

We discover quite early on who the killer is, as they are identified quickly by Jack and his superior officer uncle, Percy. The fun in this book then isn’t ‘whodunnit’, but in seeing the lengths the police (and Esther) will go to in order to secure a confession.    The methods they used place this book very definitely in the Victorian era and helped to provide a snapshot of the psyche of a lot of people of that time.

This is a great series, ideal for anyone who enjoys historical crime fiction, and I’m already looking forward to reading the next one.

Previous books in the series:

The Gaslight Stalker

The Night Caller