A lady never reveals the true extent of her decay…
Hannah Miles lives a quiet existence, helping her parents conduct research into a most terrible affliction – until a gruesome murder during her best friend’s engagement party pulls her from the shadows. With her specialist’s knowledge and demure disposition, Hannah is requested to aid the investigation.
Except Hannah discovers her role is to apologise in the wake of the rude and disgraced man tasked with finding the murderer. The obnoxious Viscount Wycliff thinks to employ Hannah purely as a front to satisfy Whitehall, but she’ll have none of that.
The two must work together to find the murderer before the season is ruined. But the viscount is about to meet his greatest challenge, and it’s not a member of the ton with a hankering for brains.
An interesting mix of genres that spin a tale that is entertaining and slightly intriguing.
Manners and Monsters
A decent historical fantasy mystery romance, in that order, that can be read as a standalone. Research is evident in the writing. Sir Manly Powers feels like an inside joke I want to be privy to. Hannah is a self-righteous would-be medical examiner born before her time while Wycliff is a self-loathing bigoted investigator, and together they have a Beauty and the Beast relationship. The premise and story of this book and series has potential, but has rough edges in terms of execution.
Some unnecessary explanations and rehashing of information undermine any sense of urgency and makes for repetitive reading. The plot is a bit predictable, and the author’s decision to make it obvious that Wycliff is a shifter is questionable, as it makes the ongoing wait for Hannah to figure it out a test of patience, and all of Wycliff and Sera’s vague references silly rather than mysterious or suspenseful.
Since the author opened the door for incorporating modern ideologies into this historical context, there’s something to be said of clothing as a form of self-expression and dressing for oneself, not others, rather than simply casting it as frivolous. Also, looking inward for validation, instead of seeking it from others, despite what Seraphina says.
There are also a few typos i.e. at one point the author incorrectly states Lord Talbot was at Harriers instead of Albright. I found it odd that, despite all the discussion surrounding the rights of those Afflicted to roam, they never explored the idea that someone of prejudice could’ve murdered people as proof that the Afflicted should be dealt away with, even after Hugh brought up the possibility early on.
This is a spinoff series taking place a few years after the Highland Wolves. It’s not necessary to read Highland Wolves, which is more typical of the “romance” genre, but cameos may be more rewarding.
Not at all as good as I thought it could be.