Lady Julia Grey has successfully a solved two murders now along with mysterious and intriguing detective Nicholas Brisbane. There is one question, however, that Julia does not have the answer to-does Nicholas Brisbane love her? To find this out she decides to travel to Grimsgrave Manor, the property Brisbane was recently given to answer this question once and for all. Accompanying her are her sister Portia and brother Valerius. Thinking to find Brisbane ensconced in his new manor with nothing but the servants, Julia is surprised to find that the manor is occupied by the Allenby family who have lived there for generations and that the manor itself has fallen into ruin. There is something not quite right about the Allenby family. It is soon learned that the recently deceased owner of the Allenby home has left the family destitute which is why Brisbane was able to secure the property. The mystery deepens when someone almost succeeds in poisoning Brisbane. With Brisbane incapacited, Julia is on her own to find out who the culprit in the poisoning is and what exactly the Allenby family is hiding.
As in the previous novels Lady Julia's curiosity leads her to a path of danger. She impulsively decides to visit Brisbane at Grimsgrave uninvited and not surprisingly receives a cool reception from Brisbane. Even so the interactions between the two are fraught with tension-you know these two want to be together but there is always something holding them back. Here we also discover a bit more about Brisbane's pass, particularly what really happened to his mother. I love that the author manages to come up with a cast of interesting and slightly off kilter characters as it always makes for an interesting plot. This time we get the Allenby's, an old family who can trace their bloodlines back to the Saxon kings and don't mind letting everyone know it. On the surface they seem quite ordinary but as Lady Julia digs deeper it is clear that they are anything but. I liked the mystery in this one. I enjoy her writing so much that even though I was able (for the first time) to guess who the villain was, I didn't really care that I figured it out because the story was still really good. I think this series keeps getting better as it goes along. At this point I really enjoy the characters and am invested in following them on their journey. I actually almost cried when the relationship between two of the characters (NOT Julia and Brisbane) takes a sad and unexpected turn. I think readers will be more than satisfied with how the Brisbane/Julia story plays out. I am so glad I found this series this year!
This book is from my own personal library