Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: John Pickett Mysteries #7
Publication Date: 1/15/18
I’m getting a late start on the John Pickett Mysteries series, but I fully intend to go back and read all of the previous books. Each book is a self-contained mystery along with the ongoing romance between John Pickett and Julia, Lady Fieldhurst. Talk about a mésalliance. You can’t get much more misaligned than a street kid who was a pick-pocket matched with a Viscountess from a very aristocratic family.
John and Julia’s marriage is suffering from the same thing a lot of young marriages suffer from – lack of true and honest communication and understanding. Each knows how much they love the other, but neither realizes the impact their needs/wants/pride has on the other. Mostly, it is Juia who doesn’t understand how much it grates on John’s pride to be a ‘kept man’. She fully thinks of her money as ‘their’ money and sees no reason why John shouldn’t see it the same way. John thought Julia’s wealth would go away upon remarriage and that he would be supporting them. He was very proud that he’d be taking care of Julia on his own. He’s been doing his best to reconcile himself to her wealth, but as she obliviously keeps buying him expensive clothes, bringing in French barbers, etc. he finds it harder and harder to accept. He’s always been afraid that she’d come to the realization that he was too far beneath her and she wouldn’t want him anymore. Had they just sat down together and discussed their view of their future, their marriage, etc. there would have been a whole lot less of the melancholy that so infused their feelings in this book.
The mystery is interesting – and I didn’t figure out who the villain was going to be until close to the wrap-up. John Pickett is a clever detective and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him and Julia! Plus — there is a nice relationship surprise at the end!
Lady Washbourn sent a missive to Bow Street asking specifically for John Pickett to call upon her at her residence. When he arrived, she told John that she feared her husband was trying to murder her. After going through the incidents with him and her reasoning, John agreed to take on the case. Then a maid dies at a masquerade party given by the Washbourn’s, John is convinced that Lady Washbourn’s life is in danger and that she was the target of the murderer rather than the maid. John investigates and begins to think that perhaps Lord Washbourn is having an affair with the woman he really wanted to marry and couldn’t. She’s a widow now – and if Lady Washbourn were to die, Lord Washbourn would be free to marry his former love AND keep Lady Washbourn’s vast fortune. With a few more plot twists and changes of suspects, John finally arrives at the true answer. For once, I actually agreed with the punishment the villain received. Usually, I think they get off too easily – this one was very appropriate.
This was a fun read and I can’t wait to read the first six books in the series.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”