The second book in the Lady Emily Capers has the title character as the focus, her investigative skills in use to solve her own mystery as she fights to choose the path of her own life.
Again in this story, the Regency detail is outstanding, and I loved the appearance of conduct and etiquette books and that some of the Prince Regent’s excesses are mentioned. New to me, but fascinating, is an art society specifically for aristocracy, and while I have heard of them before, the Bow Street Runners gained some substance in my mind. Reading this book made me want to learn more about these topics—I enjoy it when a fictional book leads to a desire to study the reality of the time period.
The romance has a bit of an ironic twist in this novel—even a woman who has all of the advantages of wealth and privilege still cannot marry for love: her hands are tied almost as firmly as a poor character who needs to save the family fortunes through marriage.
Lady Emily is an interesting character in many respects. Her art is unfeminine in many minds because of its subject matter, yet she places so much of herself in each painting. She wants to create art that has worth and emotional impact, yet she shies away from emotion herself in many instances. Her spunk and tenacity as she solves the mysteries she encounters are almost modern even as she is forced to live in a world where women are limited in their options and spheres. She is a complicated character with depth and much to be discovered, by the reader and her hero.
I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series. While not necessary to understand this novel, I would recommend reading the Lady Emily Capers from the beginning; it is rather like visiting old friends and learning things about them previously unknown but entirely delightful.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
(reviewed 52 days after purchase)