Lady Julia and Brisbane may have tied the knot, but that doesn’t mean intrigue has absented itself from their lives. No, even on their honeymoon, there is a mystery which they are compelled to solve. When Julia’s siblings Portia and Plum turn up, asking Julia and Brisbane to come to see Portia’s former lover, Jane, who is pregnant and suspects her husband has been killed, the new couple simply cannot say no. When Brisbane stays behind and doesn’t immediately go to the estate with Julia, she is distressed but resolves to try and find the murderer out for herself. What she does find is a strange mix of people both old and new and a mystery she cannot begin to guess how to solve, if there even is one at all.
It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of this series, so I was thrilled when I found it on Netgalley, saving me the cost of importing the book just to see what happened (although this is one I do intend to purchase a paper copy of). I was a little worried about how it would go once Julia and Brisbane were actually married. Although none of the books’ plots have revolved around their romance, it has been a big part of the series and the tension between them has been a main linking factor of all the books; no matter what they’re trying to figure out, these two people have been drawn to one another. As it turns out, they still are very attracted to each other, although Raybourn fades to black so we never witness any of their more intimate scenes, for which I was grateful. They have their arguments, but they are still very in love throughout this particular novel, and I didn’t feel the lack of their courtship too keenly.
The mystery itself in the book was an interesting one, with pieces I didn’t put together until the end, but I’m not sure I was meant to. I often could tell that the real culprit wasn’t any of the people Julia actually suspected but I didn’t guess who it was; I did assume there was a murderer or the book would have ended without any sort of climax. As it stood, however, quite a few things did happen at the end of the book, few of which were particularly happy, and Raybourn drops us off with a nice cliffhanger that has me ready for the next in the series immediately.
What I liked the most about this book, as I often do in series that earn themselves a place on my favorites list, was the fact that the relationships within the series continue to grow and change with each installment. I also love that we learn bits about each character as the series progresses. Bits and pieces of the past come back to haunt them and play a role in each new storyline, so we’re always tied neatly in to the past. The books themselves have storylines but the whole series is an arc as we learn more and more about each individual character.
I still love this series and I am already anxious for number five! Dark Road to Darjeeling is a fantastic installment in a series that is just pure pleasure. If you enjoy historical fiction and mysteries, you will enjoy this series.
I am an Amazon Associate. I received this book for review through Netgalley.