After seeing Captain Hartley off to his ship, Lily heads off to the country to stay with her aunt, traveling with Ofelia and her husband. They quickly get pulled into the mystery of a local haunting with Ofelia wanting to see if they can prove if a ghost actually exists. However, they’ve barely arrived at the manor experiencing the haunting when the matriarch of the family is found dead in her room, seemingly scared to death. The family is convinced it’s the ghost while Lily is determined to figure out what really happened.
I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s not a bad book, but it took me longer to get into than the first two in the series. While the second book was missing Ofelia for the first two thirds, it didn’t suffer that much from that. Unfortunately, this book does suffer from its lack of Jack Hartley. His character is a good foil for Lily, and the fact that he is always in her corner but also able to challenge her often helps move the story along. As does the fact that that he’s a willing partner in her investigations and able to go places where she cannot. While Ofelia’s husband, Ned, does help out with the investigation, it’s not exactly willingly. There are good things about this one though. Ofelia plays a large role in the investigation, and it’s lovely seeing her with her husband and getting to know him a little, since he was barely in the first or second books. I also liked getting to see Lily’s aunt, and it’s good to see that she has some family that she gets along with. The fact that Lily’s aunt and her companion, Miss Clarke, are a romantic couple is just icing on the cake there. The mystery itself is fine, but didn’t grip me as much as the previous two.
I also have mixed feelings about the romance that is starting in this book. On the one hand, Lily certainly deserves to find happiness with someone again if she wants, but I don’t necessarily think a romance is necessary for her to have happiness, especially since she seems to enjoy her freedom so much. I also find the love interest a little bland. There’s nothing wrong with him, but there’s nothing especially engaging about him either. There is also the fact that while he is aware of Lily’s penchant for solving mysteries and helps out a little, it doesn’t seem like he’d be a willing and ready partner to her in such matters. It also doesn’t help that I personally am predisposed to prefer another gentleman as Lily’s romantic partner. I think it will be interesting to see how the relationship shakes out as Lily doesn’t seem to really desire a new marriage at this point. I’m still excited to see where this series goes from here even if I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first two. Three out of five stars.
CBR15 Bingo: You Are Here – Checked out from my local library.