Point of Honour / Madeleine E. Robins / Books > Novel / English In Regency England around the year 1810, a young woman from a good family whose reputation has been ruined is known as Fallen. These women are most often doomed to a life of prostitution, poverty, violence and disease. One such woman, who ran off with her brother's fencing master, refuses to succumb to that destiny when her lover dies and she is left alone, however. She reinvents herself as a sort of private investigator, one who has the breeding and knowledge of the ways of the upper class along with excellent skills with her sword and pistol, thanks to lessons from her lover. With a reputation for discretion and intelligence, Sarah Tolerance is able to move seamlessly between the classes of English society, regularly even dressing as a man for safety. As a self-made investigator, Miss Tolerance solves mysteries, finds lost objects and uncovers secrets for her clients, making a living for herself while ensuring her independence at a time in history when such a thing was almost unheard of.
It isn't easy, though; a woman living in such an unconventional manner faces danger from the many unsavory characters she meets, some of which are people one would believe to be respectable in every way. Her work takes her from the poorest slums and brothels to the best residences in London, and she is accepted in each because of her quick mind and quicker reflexes.In this second tale featuring Miss Tolerance, she is enlisted to help a Count find an heirloom fan that he once gave to his first love. The fan, Miss Tolerance discovers, is only one part of the story she reveals, and is being sought not only by herself and the young Count, but by several others as well. As the mystery is untangled the book is also uncovered as well-written and suspenseful, evoking its time and place by the well-placed use of the smallest details.