Whew! This was a truly entertaining read and it was just what I needed in this very stressful year. The characters are bright, funny, entertaining, smart, and serious, and they’ll make you laugh out loud, smile, chortle, guffaw, and shake your head. You could feel the chemistry between Perry and Violet coming right off the page, and when you add an excellent mystery on top of that – well – you just won’t be able to put the book down.
Lady Violet Garland, the spinster daughter of the Duke of Sevenash, shares a secret with all of the ladies in her family. At the age of twenty-one, she and each of her sisters were given a ‘gift’ by a mean-tempered fairy godmother, Baletongue. Violet chose the ability to fly as her gift and she has loved flying over London every night for the last few years. It is exciting and exhilarating, and the majesty of the city below leaves her breathless. She is in the air one night when she sees a person she knows leaving a ball – and he is being followed by someone. Hmmm – she wonders why that is and with unbridled curiosity sets about following the follower. That works fine, but he senses her – and he traps her! Nobody has ever had a clue she was above them before – how did he know? What is he going to do?
Periander (Perry) Wintersmith was raised within the ton as the nephew of a Viscount – until his father gambled away their fortune and killed himself. The Viscount was so scandalized and disgraced that he snatched Periander and his two brothers up and put them in the military where they were immediately sent to India. Perry was the only one of them to survive and he’s only back in England because he promised his mother he’d leave the military and stay where it was safe. His mother is now deceased, he’s barely making enough money to keep the most meager roof over his head, and he’s considering joining his old military unit again.
Sir Mortimer, Bow Street Magistrate, has pulled Perry from his regular clerical duties and made him a temporary Principal Officer to handle a case brought to them by Lord Abbishaw. It appears that Lord Abbishaw collects very naughty mechanical clocks – and somebody is stealing them. Oh! My! Perry has narrowed the suspect list down and will start with the top of the list and follow him until he determines guilt or innocence – and then move on to the next. As he is following his suspect, his scalp tingles – and he keeps getting impressions of some distortion reflected in the windows. What can it be? Well – he’ll just find out by trapping whatever it is. Oops – imagine his surprise when what he catches is a beautiful woman.
Violet and Perry begin to work together – and play together. They run across roofs and develop tools to make it easier and they follow suspects. Their time together brings them together emotionally as well – but, nothing can ever come of it – after all, he is a Bow Street Runner and she is a duke’s daughter.
I loved violet’s exuberance for life and her insatiable curiosity. I also loved watching Violet and Perry learning to love and trust each other. This was a delightful read; I hope you will love it as much as I did.