Marion Lane and the Raven’s Revenge (A Marion Lane Mystery, 3)

Written by T. A. Willberg
Review by Sarah Hendess

Willberg returns with a captivating third and final offering in the delightful, lightly steampunk Marion Lane series.

It’s 1960 in London, and twenty-five-year-old Marion Lane is nearing the end of her final year as an apprentice at Miss Brickett’s Investigations and Inquiries, a secret detective agency that operates out of a warren of tunnels beneath the city. She’s enjoying her budding relationship with Kenny Hugo, an American Inquirer, and looking forward to her Induction Ceremony where she’ll finally be made an Inquirer herself, when her best friend’s girlfriend, Darcy, asks the agency for help evading the clutches of a dangerous criminal. Marion, of course, gets involved, but then Darcy disappears completely. When the agency receives a package containing a dead raven, Marion is certain she’s the gang’s next target. A decade ago, her mother had received an identical warning shortly before her death by suicide. Marion knows time is running out to solve the case and capture the person sending the dead ravens before someone, perhaps her, dies.

Stuffed with action and whimsical gadgets, the novel takes readers on a fun ride through sort-of-alternate-but-mostly-realistic midcentury London. And because this case is related to her mother’s death, Marion’s emotions are more highly wrought than in previous installments. Though Marion works to solve this case alone to protect her friends, the friendships are still front and center, keeping the earlier books’ emphases on love and loyalty. Willberg includes sufficient exposition that newbies to the series won’t be lost, but readers will likely feel more closely connected to the characters if they’ve read at least one of the previous books. Recommended.