Closer to the Chest continues Mercedes Lackey’s story of Mags, Herald Spy.
Married life for Mags and Amily is smooth sailing. Professional life is something else entirely. Genteel blackmail amongst the highborn and wealthy is a way of life, even in the relatively staid and well-behaved Court at Haven... but someone is breaking the unspoken rules. Whoever it is has several families (who only visit the Court over the Midwinter Holidays) terrified to the point of refusing to talk to anyone about it. Then, when one well-loved young man commits suicide, and a beloved daughter is kidnapped, Mags and Amily have to pull out all the stops to find the blackmailer and bring him to justice.
Mercedes Ritchie Lackey (born 1950) is an American writer of fantasy novels. Many of her novels and trilogies are interlinked and set in the world of Velgarth, mostly in and around the country of Valdemar. Her Valdemar novels form a complex tapestry of interaction between human and non-human protagonists with many different cultures and social mores.
Her other main world is one much like our own, but it includes clandestine populations of elves, mages, vampires, and other mythical beings. The Bedlam's Bard books describe a young man with the power to work magic through music; the SERRAted Edge books are about racecar driving elves; and the Diana Tregarde thrillers center on a Wiccan who combats evil.
She has also