The second novel in the Victorian 'Ladies of Lantern Street' novels features paid companion/private inquiry agent Beatrice Lockwood and burned out ex-spy Joshua North in a mystery involving paranormal forces and Egyptian antiquities.
A mad scientist has preserved his dead lover in an ancient Egyptian embalming formula, and has convinced himself that he can revive the dead woman, but he needs Beatrice Lockwood's psychic abilities to 'ignite' the formula. And he will do anything to capture her.
Joshua North - scarred and forced to use a cane due to the disaster that occurred during his last case - is all Beatrice has in the way of a bodyguard . . .
If not exactly a taut thriller, Quick's second Ladies of Lantern Street installment (after 2012 s Crystal Gardens) is a breezy, fast-moving Victorian whodunit. Our intrepid heroine, the attractive and resourceful Beatrice Lockwood, is an agent for the private inquiry firm of Flint & Marsh, a sort of prefeminist detective agency staffed by women with extrasensory abilities. Through a series of deft plot twists, Beatrice's powers are brought to bear on solving the murder of her boss, finding a blackmailer, and stopping a mad scientist from using an Egyptian artifact to resurrect the dead. Quick applies the fantastical elements with a light touch as Beatrice explores her growing romance with Joshua Gage, a formidable, legendary ex-spy with whom she finds herself allied and magically connected. The dialogue throughout rings true and is often clever. Some weak spots in the plot might dismay hard-core mystery fans, but the novel as a whole is likely to delight fans of romantic period fiction.