I absolutely fell in love with this series when I read the very first book. I can’t believe the series is only on book 4, I feel like so much has happened in these four books. It’s been quite the journey.
When I saw this one on Netgalley, I immediately downloaded it and couldn’t wait to dive in. The book wasn’t due to come out until September and I downloaded the book in June…..needless to say I read it in June because I couldn’t wait to see what happened between Wrexford and Sloane in this book!
I read this book in only a couple of sittings and couldn’t put it down! Another winner from Penrose!
The murder of a shipping clerk . . . the strange disappearance of trusted friends . . . rumors of corruption within the powerful East India Company . . . all add up to a dark mystery entangling Lady Charlotte Sloane and the Earl of Wrexford in a dangerous web of secrets and lies that will call into question how much they really know about the people they hold dear—and about each other . . .
When Lady Cordelia, a brilliant mathematician, and her brother, Lord Woodbridge, disappear from London, rumors swirl concerning fraudulent bank loans and a secret consortium engaged in an illicit—and highly profitable—trading scheme that threatens the entire British economy. The incriminating evidence mounts, but for Charlotte and Wrexford, it’s a question of loyalty and friendship. And so they begin a new investigation to clear the siblings’ names, uncover their whereabouts, and unravel the truth behind the whispers.
As they delve into the murky world of banking and international arbitrage, Charlotte and Wrexford also struggle to navigate their increasingly complex feelings for each other. But the clock is ticking—a cunning mastermind has emerged . . . along with some unexpected allies—and Charlotte and Wrexford must race to prevent disasters both economic and personal as they are forced into a dangerous match of wits in an attempt to beat the enemy at his own game. (summary from Goodreads)
One of the things I love most about this series is the complex relationship between Wrexford and Sloane. It’s clear to the reader that they are in love with each other but neither are prone to bold, emotional declarations of love. In the previous books there has been a lot of hinting at their emotions but the investigation always seems to come between them just before they can examine how they feel about one another.
I expected their relationship to take a turn in this book considering it was heavily hinted at in the previous books and while their relationship did change by the end of the book, I was still hoping and waiting for a bold, emotional declaration of love and feelings. I can’t say I am surprised though because it would be wildly out of character for either of them but a girl can still hope. In the end I felt satisfied with how their relationship progressed and culminated in this book and am looking forward to seeing how things proceed in future books.
The other thing that I love about this author is she incorporates science of the historical period. In this book it’s about financial science and while there were times that I felt completely lost in the financial side of the story, there were characters there that helped the lay reader navigate the complex financial terrain. I loved how much the mystery shifted and cast uncertainty across many characters. Penrose always does such a smashing job with her mysteries and red herrings and it’s one of the things I love best about this series.
These books could mostly be read as standalone novels as the author does a nice job orientating the reader in the later plot without giving anything away, but you will get a lot more out of it by reading the books in order. Whenever I pick up one of her books I am never disappointed and always finish the book feeling excited for the next and eager to see what ways each of our beloved characters shifts and changes in new and exciting ways.
Last little thought—-I am so in love with this cover. While I love the other covers in this series, I think this one is my absolute favorite so far! It’s elegant and mysterious. I can’t stop staring at it!