This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Ballantine Books
Released on March 31, 2015
I have been with this series from the beginning and at this point I stick with it as much from feeling the characters are like family than for the mystery itself. I say this because generally even installments in the series that are less engaging than others are still really good reading experiences for me. This was one of those less engaging ones. Still good, but good for reasons other than the reason I picked up the book.
These historical mysteries are fabulous when it comes to the meticulous handling of the historical period and setting, the deep mystery plot and the truly engaging characters particularly those that are fixtures. Added to all that, the author adds another element that sometimes is front and center and at others, runs along in the background- ideology, social moors of the day, etc. She really gets inside the heads of her characters and understands their thought processes of that time period. Some of it is archaic, but there are still some stuff that has universality and is true even today. With each book, the author provides a thought or chain of thoughts that the characters and thus the reader is challenged to consider while immersed in the book. In this case, the subject was going against popular thought and being willing to stand up for your beliefs even if your beliefs are unpopular.
My niggle about this particular book is I saw the mystery portion as not much of a challenge. This one was dreadfully easy for me and I’m not the most intuitive of people so I generally struggle to figure out all the pieces of this author’s mysteries. I felt I got an easy to solve mystery with little tension and danger until near the end.
One of the best parts was seeing Victor and Vespasia as a married couple. I love their Autumn-Winter romance, tentatively adjusting to being married, and seeing them partnering and detecting right alongside Pitt and Charlotte. They had a ton of page time and significantly helped Pitt solve the murders.
It was also neat seeing Pitt and his home life in their atypical Victorian household. Jemima is nearly grown up and Daniel is right behind her. He relies on Charlotte and respects her take on matters. Charlotte didn’t have a large role in this one, but she is still a key player nonetheless. I laughed at the hint that Charlotte is involved in the Women’s Rights movements and Pitt doesn’t have a clue. Yet. Just like Charlotte to be right in the middle of controversy. It takes a special man to appreciate and love her anyway.
As usual, the strongest part of the story was being right there with Pitt as he works to some the case and adjusting to his newer role as Commander of Special Branch, gaining the trust and respect of his men, and tiptoeing his way as he rubs shoulders with the powerful men of the British Empire.
In summary, I liked this one, but didn’t love it. I prefer a more challenging mystery. Still, these are good books with engaging plots and characters along with meticulous historical accuracy that I can recommend to any historical mystery or historical romantic suspense readers.
My thanks to Net Galley and GoodReads First Reads giveaway for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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