First of all, I have to confess that I had never read a book set in the Georgian time period, though I had my own preconceived ideas of the sort of characters I would encounter if I did so. The cover of this book told me all I needed to know about our hero, and most of the ensuing characters, more or less, met my expectations. But if I thought I was in for a dull read with over-the-top stereotype characters, I was to be well and truly foiled.
Lucinda Brant has continued her Alec Halsey adventures in this third book and Alec has just been made, reluctantly, a marquis. In far-off Midanich, the Margrave Leopold dies and his son Ernst takes his place. We soon gather that there is a history between the two men and in order to lure Alec back to a country he never thought to return to, Ernst captures Alec’s best friend and a young lady, granddaughter of Alec’s aunt. Only Alec will do for negotiating their release, although he senses a trap. Hampered, perhaps, by the insistence of his aunt, an uncle and his on-off romantic partner, Alec finds himself embroiled in a vicious civil war, the rebels being led by Ernst’s brother, Viktor.
Lovers of this particular period will absolutely lap this up. It is very well written, fast paced and full of secrets.
My only (petty, perhaps) criticism is that it is billed as a Georgian mystery – there are no mysteries to be solved. However, as an adventure it is a cracking good one!