K is for Kate Ross, an American mystery author who wrote four novels set in Regency England and who was taken from us all too soon by cancer. Her novels center on dandy Julian Kestrel, a trend-setter who might very well be patterned on the the real-life Beau Brummel. Kestrel takes up detecting in response to the boredom and emptiness of society life. His partner in detection is his valet Thomas Stokes, also known as Dipper. Kestrel hired Dipper to be his valet when he caught him in an attempt to "dip" or steal his pocket watch.
These Regency-era mystery stories are well-researched and very absorbing. It's been a while since I read them, but I remember finding the characters to be well-drawn and interesting. I was very saddened when I learned that Ross has passed away and that there would be no more Julian Kestrel novels. The books in the series are Cut to the Quick (1994), which won the 1994 Gargoyle award for in the category of Best Historical Mystery, A Broken Vessel (1995), Whom the Gods Love (1996), and The Devil in Music (1997), which won the 1997 Agatha Award for in the category of Best Novel. The Lullaby Thief (1997), a short story featuring Kestrel, is included in the mystery anthology Crime Through Time, edited by Miriam Grace Monfredo and Sharan Newman.