5 stars, Book Review, historical, historical mystery, historical romance, mystery, romance, series, Victorian England
Review of A Most Intriguing Lady
A Most Intriguing Lady starts quickly by revealing two intriguing characters. Lady Mary, a young woman who prefers to keep to her quiet ways, enters the story by performing a balance beam act on the castle parapet. She is seen only by Colonel Trefusis, whose past will not leave him alone. Both are very likable characters, looking for their place in life.
Mary is observant, discrete, quiet and often overlooked by her family and everyone around her. Which makes her the perfect person to solve a domestic mystery, with some assistance from Trefusis.
After solving one mystery, Mary’s services are in demand, keeping her busy and giving her purpose. Meanwhile, Trefusis has his own secret mission which keeps him away from Mary. The two part, meet again, and learn more about each other as they solve more mysteries and then part again. They cycle continues, keeping the two apart, while at the same time bringing them closer together.
This book is a romance, which means that someday, somehow, Mary and Trefusis are bound to get together. But this long term, slow burn courtship is doomed to failure until they both grow enough to find a clear give-and-take path that leads to their happily ever after. I found their steadfastly growing relationship to be quite refreshing. The added mysteries strengthened the characters and the plot, and made for a very satisfying story!
Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book. My review is my honest opinion.
About A Most Intriguing Lady by Sarah Fergusen
Victorian London was notorious for its pickpockets. But in the country houses of the elite, gentleman burglars, art thieves and con men preyed on the rich and titled. Wealthy victims—with their pride and reputation at stake—would never go to the police. What they needed was a society insider, one of their own, a person of discretion and finely tuned powers of observation, adept at navigating intrigue.
That person was Lady Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, the youngest child of Queen Victoria’s close friends the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. Bookish, fiercely intelligent, and a keen observer, Mary has deliberately cultivated a mousey persona that allows her to remain overlooked and significantly underestimated by all. It’s the perfect cover for a sleuth, a role she stumbles into when trying to assist a close friend during a house party hosted by her parents at their stately Scottish home, Drumlanrig Castle.
It is at this party where Lady Mary also meets Colonel Walter Trefusis, a distinguished and extremely handsome war veteran. Tortured by memories of combat, Walter, like Mary, lives a double life, with a desk job in Whitehall providing a front for his role in the British Intelligence Service. The two form an unlikely alliance to solve a series of audacious crimes—and indulge in a highly charged on-off romance.
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