With the three James siblings reunited in London, Alice is excited to put a plan she has been scheming into motion. Although she cannot got about the streets of London herself, William, with his Scotland Yard connections, medical knowledge, and insights into the human mind, and Henry, a man who is able to fit into both high society and the more dissolute areas of London, can bring her information to analyze. The three will solve these crimes together, each bringing their own unique talents to the case. William is soon running about London with members of Scotland Yard, finding new evidence and refuting theories that were already in place. Henry is about in the drawing rooms and gentlemen's clubs listening to conversations, and soon the three have a suspect.
What Alice Knew is a well-written thriller, with oodles of great Victorian history thrown in. Ms. Cohen, a professor of English at Drexel University, brings her scholarship and research to the story, speculating on Henry's and William's feelings and motivations, and sharing stories about artists of the times such as John Singer Sergeant and Oscar Wilde, friends of the James family. As a lover of both historical fiction and mystery/thrillers I couldn't put What Alice Knew down, and I look forward to what Paula Marantz Cohen has for us next!