Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose by T. A. Willberg
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Summary from NetGalley:
The envelope was tied with three delicate silk ribbons: “One of the new recruits is not to be trusted…”
It’s 1959 and a new killer haunts the streets of London, having baffled Scotland Yard. The newspapers call him The Florist because of the rose he brands on his victims. The police have turned yet again to the Inquirers at Miss Brickett’s for assistance, and second-year Marion Lane is assigned the case.
But she’s already dealing with a mystery of her own, having received an unsigned letter warning her that one of the three new recruits should not be trusted. She dismisses the letter at first, focusing on The Florist case, but her informer seems to be one step ahead, predicting what will happen before it does. But when a fellow second-year Inquirer is murdered, Marion takes matters into her own hands and must come face-to-face with her informer—who predicted the murder—to find out everything they know. Until then, no one at Miss Brickett’s is safe and everyone is a suspect.
ARC provided by Harlequin Trade Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.
I am glad to say that I enjoyed this second book in the series just as much as the first. It was really hard to put down and kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out which of the new recruits was not to be trusted.
Marion continues to be a delight to spend time with. She has shown a bit of growth in that she is feeling more confident in her skills and abilities than in the first book. She is to some extent still getting over the events at the end of book one and at times this hinders her abilities. She still doubts herself at times and occasionally makes the wrong decision, but she gets the job done in the end and that is what matters.
The plot of this story was well done. There were lots of twists to the mystery, many that I did not see coming. I liked the storyline of the group that called themselves the The Employee Rights and Protection Society, that often threw some red herrings in the mix, but ultimately became important in the end. There were some parts that related back to the first book, that might confuse some if they haven’t read that one. But other than that this one could also be read as a stand alone.
As I predicted in my review of the first book, there is a love interest that blossoms a bit into something more in this book. It was well done and although the man Marion finds herself attracted to is not the one I would have chosen for her, I’m ok with it. I’m still going to hold out that the other guy will get his turn at some point though.
A well done second novel in a very intriguing series. If you like historical novels with a little bit of light fantasy thrown in you really should take a look at this one. It is quite good and a lot of fun to read.