I still need to catch up on some reviews from June reading.
A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn. I was not terribly impressed by the first in this series, but I liked this one better.
Evidently, the publication has now been moved back to 2017, so I will save a review for later.
Excerpt from the blurb:
"London, 1887. Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if Veronica cannot find the real killer. "
I'm not sure why the publication date was changed, but perhaps some of my quibbles with content will be ironed out with further editing. Some of what I found off-putting in the first Veronica Speedwell book has been improved upon in this second book. Neat cover, huh?
NetGalley/Berkeley Publ. Group
Historic Mystery. Jan. 10, 2017. Print version: 352 pages.
Shadow Over the Fens is set in the Lincolnshire Fens, an area the author obviously cares for deeply.
I haven't read the first book in the series, but evidently DI Nikki Galena's last case was a tough one--requiring her to live in another town in the fens. Coming home, Nikki feels able to shed some of the hard-nosed image that she acquired in that case. She is still a tough and competent officer, but she is back in a familiar community.
Even as she settles in, however, a neighbor she cares for commits suicide. Nikki finds everything about the situation "wrong," but there is no doubt that her friend jumped to his death.
At the same time, her DS Joseph Easterly believes he sees a man from his past and isn't sure if he is imagining it.
I liked the complexity of the characters and the setting very much. Joy Ellis has created a situation where the people and the place feel real to me. Nikki Galena and Joseph Easterly seem to be revealing themselves a bit at a time; at least, from what I read about the previous novel, it appears that Ellis is allowing her characters to grow and develop.
This is a series that I intend to keep an eye on. :)
Mystery/Police Procedural. June 30, 2016. Print version: 255 pages.