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The Conspiring Woman (Victorian Bookshop Mysteries Book 4) Kindle Edition
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As with many series, a fair amount of time was taken up with backstory (sort of like this: "She knew the Smiths because they lived next door to the victim on her previous case, when the evil so-and-so killed thus-and-so" and that sort of thing). There was a great deal of this which bogged down the forward movement of the story. And speaking of backstory, I guess that's why the madman Count Farkas showed up out of nowhere about 3/4 of the way into this book--the author had to lay him to rest. BUT he had almost no connection to the rising action, which was disconcerting. I definitely had a feeling of "What the hell?" And I thought the protracted suspense of Georgia's (somewhat maddening) uncertainty about becoming a duchess was ok, but seriously .... who would dither about accepting, especially when the suitor was as charming and kind-hearted as Ranleagh. I was surprised to see that this book is consistently rated with 4 to 5 stars. Go figure.
I was disappointed that Emma and Sumner weren't featured in this book. I understand why, but was still disappointed. Also -- Blackford didn't show up until about the last 100 or so pages and that was a disappointment. I was also disappointed that Lady Phyllida wasn't featured very much because she was caring for Grantham's grandmother.
Since all of those I mentioned above were pretty much absent in this book, we got to become better acquainted with some of the other members of the Society -- and a couple of new (possibly recurring) characters were introduced. I particularly liked Jacob's new mentor as well as Lady Moffat. Since Jacob's career in accountancy and lock picking hasn't worked out, he's now decided to become a solicitor and apprentices himself out to a new mentor.
BTW -- I love Dickens the cat!!!
The murderer isn't too hard to figure out, but it is still interesting to watch the Society -- especially Georgia figure it out. Especially when a new police superintendent decides that Georgia is the murderer! I sort of wonder if the superintendent might become a recurring character who will haunt Georgia at every turn. I hope not -- I'd like to see him discredited and Grantham replace him. Anyway -- I won't cover the main murder plot in this review because you can read that in the blurb for the book.
Aside from the murder, there are a couple of sub-plots and we learn of a sort of underground railroad for battered and abused wives. I love to read tales set in these times, but I'm so grateful that I don't actually live in them!
Georgia and Blackford finally resolve their relationship!!!!
In the last book, Georgia met the man who murdered her parents, but couldn't do anything because of his diplomatic immunity. Well -- he's back in this book and things are resolved -- finally!
I can hardly wait for the next installment -- I am NOT a patient reader and hate it when series entries are too far drawn out.
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