Marion Lane and the Raven’s Revenge by T.A. Willberg
Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Summary from NetGalley:
The raven had struck. And the thing was, she knew exactly who was next…
London, 1960. Marion Lane, a twenty-five-year-old apprentice detective at the elusive Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries, is busier than ever and determined to prove herself worthy of an official Inquirer badge. But when her close friend’s girlfriend, Darcy, is targeted by a dangerous gang leader and seeks out the Inquirers’ assistance, Marion cannot help but get involved.
Just when Marion thinks she has the situation under control, Darcy disappears and the agency receives a package containing a dead raven. Everyone is puzzled by what the threat could mean, except for Marion. She recognizes it as the same calling card left on her mother’s doorstep just before she died.
With harrowing twists and turns, Marion Lane and the Raven’s Revenge follows Marion’s most personal case to date. To uncover who is behind these ominous packages and find Darcy, she must piece together how they are related to her mother’s mysterious death and secretive past.
ARC provided by Harlequin Trade via NetGalley for an honest review.
This is the third book in the series and while you won’t find any spoilers here, you might want to check out my reviews for the first two books here and here.
I enjoyed this third installment in this historical mystery series that is part James Bond and part 1940 detective noir. I love the characters, and the gadgets and the stories, while perhaps a bit formulaic, have kept me on the edge of my seat and turning those pages.
Marion is once again finding herself in the middle of a mystery that not only involves the agency this time, but her best friend Bill. This mystery is also connected to Marion’s past and the reasons behind her mother’s death. We learn a lot more about Marion’s childhood and how that relates to her development into the person she is today. While I have seen some growth in Marion over the two books, I wish we could see her being a little bit less impulsive and feeling like she is the only one who can protect her friends and save the agency. She tends to make things worse instead of better even when things all work out in the end.
Even though it is Bill’s new romance that starts the whole mystery, there was not as much attention on Marion’s friends and her own romance as there was in the first two books. I would very much like to see more of her friends and learn more about their histories and how they ended up at Miss Brickett’s Investigations.
Even with Marion dashing off to save everyone at the drop of a disruptor, I still really enjoyed the story. It was very well plotted and the twists were well done. The pacing was also well done with some of the action happening at breakneck speed, and then have some down time to get ready for the next action part. I really liked the ending, although I am a bit worried that there may not be more books coming? It is left open enough that there is room for a continuing story, but I would be ok with it ending there as well.
If you enjoy the old detective stories from the 40’s and enjoy reading about quirky characters and fun gadgets you really must give this series a try. It is full of a lot of fun, fast paced mysteries with some unexpected twists and a female protagonist that will always be there to save the day.