Now happily married for a bit and back in England, Lady Julia and her handsome husband Nicholas Brisbane are intent on merging their lives into one household. Brisbane also seeks to resume his enquiry business which causes no small conflict as he promised Julia could be a partner in his work but is always giving her menial tasks to keep her out of harms way. Secure in his love for her, Julia wants nothing more than to prove herself a worthy partner for the enquiry business. Her chance comes when she unexpectedly discovers that her conservative older brother Bellmont has sought out the services of her husband. Julia is soon on the trail and it leads her to The Ghost Club and the mysterious Madame Seraphine whose seances are sought out by rather powerful men-some with deadly secrets to keep. As Julia and Brisbane seek to solve the mysteries surrounding Madame Seraphine and the Ghost Club and save Bellmont in the process, their relationship is tested as never before. They must decide-can their differences ever allow them to be business partners or even partners at all?
I have been a huge fan of this series since I blazed through the first four books last year. Each one seems to get better and better. This installment goes into more depth with the relationship between Julia and Brisbane which I enjoyed. At one point in time it seemed impossible these polar opposites could make it work but they are trying rather hard here. I have always admired Julia's pluck and the fact that she does it out of love for Brisbane shines through. Her heart is in the right place even if the results aren't always what she was originally intending. Julia's eccentric family returns here as well-brothers Bellmont, Valerius, and Plum as well as sister Portia and Brisbane's gypsy family who also make an appearance. Another thing I like a lot about this series is seeing the supporting characters evolve a little more in each book.
Although this book was a little bit slower paced than the others in the series, I didn't mind given that the plot twists that Raybourn excels at were here in abundance. I had many "didn't see that coming" moments in this book. Once again I stayed up late flying through the pages to find out how it all ends. I never would have guessed who the villain was in this one and even though I thought I've come to know the main characters in these novels quite well, I wouldn't have guessed at the revelations made about one of them here. Fans of the Lady Julia novels will not be disappointed -this is another top notch mystery and a great addition to the series.
This book was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.