From Publishers Weekly
The indefatigable Gabaldon, who has made the British 18th century her own, offers a trio of novellas about Lord John Grey, whose minor role in the Outlander novels (concerning Jacobite Jamie Fraser and including A Breath of Snow and Ashes
) has become a major fictional spinoff (Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
, etc.). The three mystery-adventure novellas of this volume span 1756 to 1758, in settings packed with dark secrets—and therefore dangers—for the soldier-hero with secrets of his own. The first novella finds Lord John swearing vengeance in London for a murdered government official, leading him to a deconsecrated abbey where members of the political elite indulge their basest desires. The second pits Lord John against a succubus that plagues his Prussian encampment, and combines humor with military strategy and supernatural myth. The third, most complex narrative finds Lord John investigating the cause of a cannon explosion in the English countryside that results in a fellow officer's death. Gabaldon brings an effusive joy to her fiction that proves infectious even for readers unfamiliar with her work or the period. A foreword and introductory notes add background on the book's evolution. (Nov.)
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“Gabaldon’s strengths are on full display.... Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A captivating collection.... featuring richly detailed historical settings, splendidly nuanced characters, and expertly crafted plots.”—Booklist
“[Lord John displays] characteristic elan, intelligence, and fortitude…. You may find yourself relishing the dishes of gooseberry trifle, the cozy afternoons at the Beefsteak Appreciation Society, and the companionship of this urbane 18th century blade.”–Entertainment WeeklyFrom the Hardcover edition.