©2006 Catherine Shaw; (P)2007 Soundings
I read the first book in this series as a paperback and found the plot fascinating. There's certainly another intriguing plot here, but sadly the author's decision to base her literary style on the most verbose and convoluted offerings of what she regards as late Victorian literature gets in the way. The reader can doze off for 10-15 mins at a time without missing anything of note or losing the thread of the plot. What was needed was a stronger editor to remove up to a third of the book. Victorian literary style was capable of pace and suspense. I'm afraid that on this showing paint could dry in less time than Shaw would take to describe the process!
The reader spoils this slightly disconnected historical mystery, by making all kinds of noises or swallowing. Maybe just poorly edited, but the book in plot and substance also had a similar feeling. It started out slowly and did progress toward the 3/4 mark. Female protagonist with children was a nice thought, but I would give this one a miss and try Anne Perry for something along the same lines but much better written.
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