Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally … and personally
Montague is a character who has appeared in most of Ms. Laurens books as a Man of Business for the wealthy, so it was nice to be able to delve a little more into his character and background. This book is part of the Casebook of Barnaby Adair series and was focused much more on the mystery aspect than the romance between Montague and Violet. As you know I’m a big lover of romance and am a bit disappointed there wasn’t more of it between those two throughout the book, however, their relationship followed what I would imagine to be the socially accepted strictures of the time. Fortunately, as far as romance and steamy scenes go, we did get to see more of Barnaby Adair and Penelope.
The mystery aspect of this book is very good, there are red herrings galore and I didn’t guess who the killer was or the reason for him becoming so, until it was all revealed! This is what saved the book for me, from a lower rating. I felt like this was the Adair and Stokes show with Montague and Violet being a side story rather than the main couple. This wouldn’t have been an issue at all if it hadn’t been billed as Montague’s book, because the story is good.
Anyway enough of that, Montague is a character who has always seemed a bit ‘nerdy’ and unassuming but, as with all the author’s heroes, he has hidden depths and his masterful side does come out towards the end. Violet is no mild miss and throws herself into helping with the investigation along with the wives of Stokes and Adair, much to the consternation of Montague. As characters I liked them, neither of them are in the first flush of youth (Violet is 34, a veritable old maid!) and therefore both of them know their own minds and who they are.
Overall a good story, if you like Ms. Laurens writing and go into this accepting that it’s primarily a mystery with a side order of romance, rather than romance with a side order of mystery (as with most of the Cynster novels), you will enjoy it. I look forward to the next Casebook of Barnaby Adair story with that in mind.