Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

A Talent for Trickery

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Talent for Trickery (2015) Alissa Johnson

Set in England in 1872

Owen Renderwell and his partners became famous as the Thief-Takers who rescued a kidnapped duchess, so they became private investigators, however, a series of thefts followed by a murder returns them to the criminals who assisted the government during that time.

Charlotte Walker has led a quiet life after the death of her father in the famous case of the kidnapped duchess. But the Thief-Takers have returned, in the hopes that something in her father’s old journals might assist them with a current case.

I really like Charlotte and Owen’s relationship. It’s complicated and confused and they have problems, but once they sit down and actually talk with each other, things get better, because both are able to admit they made mistakes.

Owen recognized his incongruent feelings as the same he’d experienced at age nine, when his sister Eliza had convinced him it would be great fun to hurl a stone at a wasp’s nest. It was the delicious thrill that came from succumbing to the allure of a very bad idea.

I, of course, love the banter between the two.

“Insightful of you,” she said with a glance over her shoulder.

He stepped up beside her. “You needn’t sound stunned. Some people consider me a man of exceptional insight.”

Other people considered him a barbaric reprobate and a disgrace to titled gentlemen the world over.

She looked at him with great pity. “Might these people be your mother?”

His mother belonged in the category of “other people,” but he appreciated the barb nonetheless.

“It requires a perceptive and intelligent woman to recognize brilliance.” He gave her a consoling look of his own. “Trust me.”

You used to smell of flowers. Roses and lavender and such. Now you smell…” He bent closer and took in a breath. “Like lemons. Tart.”

“If the scent offends you, I’ll go inside—”

“Didn’t say it offends me.”

“— and bathe in it.”

She wasn’t a worldly woman, exactly, but there had been worldly women in her life and a father who had paid one of those women to educate his eldest daughter on one of the very few topics he was unwilling to discuss himself.

Said woman had done so with an enthusiasm and thoroughness that had left a girl of ten absolutely stupefied. And terrified. For years.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    

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