The Gentleman and the Thief. Sarah M. Eden. November 2020. 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Hollis Darby learned two things at the knee of his not-so-dear, long-departed, low-life, scoundrel of a father: how to gamble beyond what was advisable and how to be an utter disappointment to his family.
Premise/plot: Hollis Darby, our hero, is a member of the Dread Penny Society, a secret society consisting of authors of penny dreadfuls. These authors are on a mission to do good--they are social justice reformers, if you will, intent on "saving" and "rescuing" the least of these. And in this second book, they are trying to solve a couple of mysteries...
One of the mysteries they are trying to solve is the identity of a thief...turns out there are many, many, many thieves in London. But there's one thief in particular that is hiding in plain sight.
Ana Newport, our heroine, is a music teacher by day and a thief by night...but she's not your ordinary thief. She just wants to track down all her family's belongings that were wrongfully taken...and if she just so happens to fall in love with a gentleman like Hollis Darby...well...that would be quite unexpected and lovely.
But that's just the barest fraction of the plot in this newest Victorian Proper Romance. There is a BIGGER mystery to solve--which I think in part began in the first book--and I think this bigger mystery may take more than a couple books to solve.
One of the highlights for me, however, is the inclusion of TWO serial penny dreadfuls. One serial series is Higglebottom's School for the Dead written by "Lafayette Jones" and The Gentleman and the Thief by "Mr. King."
The Gentleman and the Thief is the sequel to The Lady and the Highwayman.
My thoughts: I love, love, love, love, LOVE this series. I expected to love it of course. I adored the first book in the series. Both books are just fantastic. Highly recommended.
I really love the framework of the novel. It alternates narrators between Hollis and Ana. Both fabulous narrators, by the way, I love getting romance from both a his/her perspective. And this romance had just the right amount of challenges. It also alternates chapters or installments of the two penny dreadful series. I honest LOVED both of these. So well written. So enjoyable. So satisfying. I never once got annoyed that the plot was getting interrupted. Everything was delightful.
© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews