The Dark Enquiry
June 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
Synopsis from author’s website:its speak of secrets….
Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane’s private enquiry business.
Among the more unlikely clients: Julia’s very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.
It leads to the exclusive Spirit Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of murder, espionage and blackmail, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.
Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont’s sake—and more—they’ll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets: the kind men kill to keep…the kind that can destroy a fledgling marriage.
From the start, the stories of Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have held me captive. I have, over the course of several books watched the two characters grow and change as individuals and as a couple. Even before The Dark Enquiry the two had weathered so much together, so when the investigation in this book turned out to be tied close to the family, I was intrigued to see how everything would work out – for better, or worse.
There is, in my opinion, a huge plus column backing up The Dark Enquiry. First, there is the fact that we get to learn more about Brisbane’s character, his past, and his heritage. Brisbane easily counts as one of my favorite characters of all time, and learning more about him and the rough life he’s lived always interests me, even if the character isn’t always so happy about his history coming to the forefront. Second, is the involvement of Lady Julia’s brother, Lord Bellmont. Up to this point Bellmont has been pegged as the uptight eldest brother. When it comes out- at least to Brisbane and Lady Julia – that even the super conservative and beyond proper politician he is can make mistakes, well I just plain loved the idea of him being brought down to the same level as the rest of us – the human level.
There are many other pluses as well… Aquinas is back, which makes me very happy. His loyalty to and understanding of the family always adds a bit of… levelheadedness to the story. Plum’s continued participation in Brisbane’s inquiry business is also a source of enjoyment. There is more of Lord March (and his hermit!), Portia, and we see Fleur again! As always the relationship between Morag and Lady Julia is thoroughly entertaining.
In addition to the wonderful characters and the always interesting investigations, The Dark Enquiry is another very emotional story. Again, from beginning to end The Dark Enquiry had me laughing or tearing up, or at parts staring at the screen in disbelief. In fact, towards the end my heart broke for Julia and Brisbane, so much so that it took me a few minutes to gather my bearings and read on. In fact, there seems to be a new pattern with Dark Road to Darjeeling and The Dark Enquiry – that being that these two stories have a much darker feel to them, as well as an intensity that the first three books didn’t have.
The bottom line, The Dark Enquiry is another phenomenal story of the happenings in the lives of the Brisbane’s and their family. This series has been amazing from book one through book five and I will continue to be a loyal follower of the series.