In this latest installment of the Blud series, the scene shifts away from Criminy’s Carnival to follow a new character in London. It takes place after the first book, Wicked as They Come, but before the upcoming novel Wicked As She Wants. Though the main character is a woman from London, it does offer the story of what happens with Caspar after he leaves the Carnival so it is important to read it in order.
Alone after the deaths of the rest of her family and the poor treatment from her ex-fiance, Frannie Pleasance runs the family pet shop in London both because she loves the animals, but because she wishes to preserve her family heritage. One night on the way home from retrieving some kittens for her shop, she encounters a man face down looking like he’s dead in a back alley. He’s dressed like someone with affluence and he turns out to be just concussed and not dead. He also turns out to be in the spitting image of her dead brother. She takes pity on him by offering him a place to stay when she sees that he has vomited on himself, was robbed and has been tossed out of his lodgings. He turns out to be Caspar Sterling a famous musician.
Shortly after bringing Caspar home, there is a fire in Frannie’s bedroom that the fire brigade quickly puts out. She is drawn to one of the dashing firemen, Thom McCallan. He is drawn to her too and returns the next day to help right her room and search for some of her pet birds that she released during the fire. Frannie now has the big, bluff warmhearted Thom’s interest as well as the flirtatious attentions of Caspar after going years deliberately seeking to go unnoticed. Someone else has noticed her too because the attempts on her life just keep coming. Yes, she is keeping a secret, but it’s nothing anyone would kill her for.
This is a novella-length story that is told mostly from Frannie’s point of view with just a small segment that goes third person. I like how the story jumped right in with the characters and the action without too much explanation since this is the third visit to the world of Sang. It was refreshing to see what it was like for the city dwellers. I liked how there was a mystery to the plot as they tried to figure out who was trying to kill Frannie and why. The romance between Frannie and Thom was tender, but passionate once it got to the point that Frannie was able to get past her fears. If you are a Caspar fan, he’s not at his best in this one and I felt so sorry for him. Gotta say that I loved that Thom was a Scotsman- love a man in a kilt with a Scottish accent going on.
Enjoyable and quick visit to the land of Sang! Now I’m rarin’ to go for Caspar’s story.