I thought The Queer Principles of Kit Webb made me swoon, but I was unprepared for the vertigo inducing swoon of The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes.
First I’m going to share two quotes and these ought to be all the advertisement you need to sell you on this book. Next, I’m going to warn you that you cannot read this gem of a book without reading reading it’s predecessor, The Queer Principles of Kit Webb, and then I’m going to add some spoilers for Kit Webb. And then I’m going to tell you some of the reasons I loved this book and beg you to read it when it comes out so that I can squee about my favorite thing which is too spoilery to share.
“You have been busy,” he murmured, thinking of what a waste it was that in all the thousands of love poems written across the ages, nobody had ever thought to catalogue their beloved’s proficiency in crime.
“Meaning you give it away.”
“Not to put too fine a point on it, but yes.”
“To the worthy poor,” she guessed.
“I don’t much care if they’re worthy,” Rob said. “None of my business.”
The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes overlaps in time with Kit Webb, answering the lingering questions about where Rob and Marian were and why they were together. We get to read the correspondence between Rob Brooks and Marian Hayes, in which Rob is blackmailing Marian and he is falling in love. (Marian is falling in love too, but Rob admits it). We dive quickly into the aftermath of the highway robbery gone wrong, but if you haven’t read the first book, a lot will be unclear.
Rob is all sunshine. He loves scrappy old cats, kittens and babies. Everyone is his friend. Marian is prickly and competent, a volcano under ice. She shows her love by arranging things for people. Rob adores her, and I would blackmail for her too. While Percy had some grief around giving up being the Duke of Clare, Marian can’t wait to shake off the shackles of aristocracy, so long as the people she cares for are safe.
As she did in Kit Webb, Cat Sebastian utterly rejects the premise of the good aristocrat. There is no trading in a bad duke for a good one.
Please read this book and then let’s have a book club meeting where we discuss it in great detail and sigh over every page. You know where to find me.
Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager, and NetGalley, for the advance reader copy. My opinions are my own.