Spoiler warning! This is book four in an ongoing series, and while you get enough information to follow the plot, you’re definitely better off starting at the beginning. Especially since there are quite a lot stuff that’s been building for the entire series that finally begins to come to fruition in this book, and it’ll be a lot more satisfying if you’ve read the preceding three books.
Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée—much to Stoker’s chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly’s wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband’s mind.
As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker’s help to discover the host’s true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund…
Veronica begins the book by surprising her close friend and detecting partner Stoker by announcing that she’ll be accompanying their patron Lord Rosemorran’s sister, Lady Cordelia on an extended trip to Madeira. She claims Lady Cordelia needs an urgent vacation, while she wants to look for new species of butterflies. Veronica is absolutely not trying to get away from any awkward or meaningful conversations about the possible shift in her and Stoker’s relationship after the events of A Treacherous Curse. Oh no, certainly not. She encourages Stoker to write to her in her absence, he refrains to. Hence they don’t communicate at all for over six months.
Full review on my blog.