My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #3
Publication Date: 9/24/19
Number of Pages: 304
Yet another book in the Wrexford & Soane series that I couldn’t put down once I’d started reading. I mean, really, when you have science, art, murder, and romance all in one lively, compelling, intricately woven story you just absolutely cannot put it down. You COULD read this as a stand-alone, but I wouldn’t recommend it simply because the first two books lay the groundwork for the relationship between the main characters and the secondary characters – besides, they are just darned good reads!
Charlotte’s life is about to change – totally – not from her desire, but from a need to save the life of her closest childhood friend, her cousin Nicholas. Charlotte will sacrifice most anything, even her hard-won independence, to free her cousin, but the decision fills her with trepidations. Can she do it? What if she makes the sacrifice and she’s still not successful?
The romance between Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane is a tenuous one. Well – perhaps tenuous isn’t the right word – they are each denying it to themselves, but it comes out in the actions they take, in their thoughts and their terror when the other is in danger. They are about to get on my last nerve! They need to get on with it already! I’m ready for them to be a real team – living and working together.
The weasels (Hawk and Raven) are as entertaining as ever – and dressing them up in fancy clothes doesn’t change them one whit. They have been my favorite secondary characters (shux – they are almost primary characters) from the beginning. We also get to spend time with Kit Sheffield and Basil Henning and I love that. Maybe we have a love interest for Sheffield – I’d really like that. Aunt Alison, the Dowager Marchioness of Peake, was a delightful addition to the cast and I hope we see more of her in future books.
Most of the villains get their just desserts, but one was left standing. Granted, he wasn’t hands-on, but he definitely knew what was going on and enabled its happening – so – I wanted to see him go down in some way or another.
The gist of the story – and it is a really good one – is that Cedric and Nicholas were Charlotte’s best friends (and cousins) as they were growing up and she loved them like brothers. They encouraged her to be the independent, strong woman that she is. However, she hasn’t seen them for several years and when she finally hears something about them, it is to learn that Cedric has been murdered and Nicholas has been arrested for it. Charlotte knows, in her heart, that there is no way Nicholas would murder his twin brother. However, knowing something in your heart and being able to find evidence to prove it are two entirely different things. Charlotte and Wrexford are up against some very sly and devious murderers – with not a hint of who they might be or why they did it. Charlotte and the weasels engage their extensive network of informants, but information is still scarce. Time is running out. Can Charlotte and Wrexford save the day? Can Wrexford save Charlotte?
I absolutely love how the author weaves details of the science of the times into these tales. That time was such an important one for the science and achievements we have today and all of that is seamlessly woven into the story.
This author is a master storyteller and I highly recommend this story and this series in total.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.