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A Dangerous Madness

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Dangerous Madness (2014) Michelle Diener

Set in England in 1812

The third (and sadly, it seems) book in this series.

Phoebe and Sheldrake’s engagment came at the insistance of their families, which is why despite her many misgivings, Phoebe acquiesced.

“Sheldrake?” She peered at the man taking up most of the small space.

“Good grief, keep it down, would you?”

Phoebe’s betrothed’s forceful whisper was as loud as her soft-spoken question, but she bit her tongue.

She wondered what her tongue would look like after they’d spent a lifetime together. Maybe one day she’d bite it in half.

The Duke of Wittaker has spent the past several years living as a dissolute rake–at the urging of his father.

The lustre had gone off his old lifestyle. Not that there was much lustre to begin with, though he’d felt he was helping in some way. But there was only so long you could wallow in the mire before the mud started to stick.

But he has played the part so long that he was starting to become that part, and so has decided to retire and take up the dukedom. Except that the murder of the prime minister has caused Lord Dervish to request one last favor.

He’d approved of Perceval’s practical support of the abolition of the slave trade, but found the man himself objectionable. When facing off against his political opponents, Perceval attacked the individual, not their policies, leading James to think he didn’t have the intelligence to argue against them.

When it’s found that Sheldrake has disappeared, Whittaker goes to Phoebe to see if she was told anything in passing–and finds that Sheldrake has placed her in danger.

Now Phoebe wants the freedom she has been granted–freedom she hadn’t realized she wanted.

She had all but accepted the anger and the frustration as constant companions, but Sheldrake cutting her free, the incidents of the last day, opened her eyes to how big they had grown, hulking beasts that rubbed up against her. Crowding her and making her life smaller.

Fascinatingly, this mystery is based upon actual events (as were the previous books in the series), and those are utterly fascinating, as were the historical tidbits dropped through these stories.

Coffee houses in general didn’t allow women, and certainly not ones like the Baltick, where trade and business were conducted.

Phoebe and Whittaker had just come from a pub where no one batted an eye at them, but Phoebe couldn’t go into a coffee house.

This was already known to me the first time I read this book, but STILL it boggles my mind.

It also has an utterly lovely scene, where James has followed her into an alley as they are searching for a suspect.

“You don’t have to decide right now.” He bent his head and rested his forehead on hers. “I just wanted you to know, for me, there is no going back. You have me completely captivated. I have no plan to end our liaison. And I would make it permanent as soon as you give me your answer.”

“I’d take him up on that, luv.”

Phoebe looked up, blinking back the rain, and saw three women hanging out of their windows, mindless of the soaking they were getting, watching them with smiles on their faces.

“He looks like a nob in that fancy coat, even though he’s soaked through an’ all. And he likes to cuddle you close. That’s always a good sign.”

That scene just delights me.

As with the previous two books, I highly recommend this one, and dearly wish there were more to come.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Michelle Diener

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



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