Friday, September 25, 2015

"The Lost Heiress" by Roseanna M. White - a rich Edwardian mystery

Cover Art
Roseanna M. White begins her Edwardian series with a rich mystery. Brought up in the belief that she was the illegitimate daughter of a singer and a Monaco prince, Brook learns that she is truly the long-missing daughter of an English nobleman. With only her close friend Justin to help her transition from Monaco's sunny shores to dark, gloomy England, Brook tries to find her place in a household of people who don't all believe she is who she claims to be. However, when danger threatens her life, it becomes clear that the mystery surrounding her disappearance and her mother's death is more important than anyone had dreamed.

Remember the not-actually-Disney-but-really-Don-Bluth animated movie Anastasia? The optimistic film in which a decade or so after the Russian Revolution, the missing princess is found? This book reminded me of that, crossed with the cursed jewel obsession of Victoria Holt's Gothic romance Pride of the Peacock. I enjoyed how the mystery begins rather simply and then accelerates as the story unfolds until it reaches a spectacular climax.

The only minor confusion was with all the noblemen and their myriad of names (given name, title, nickname, new title upon inheritance, etc). For that, I blame British society more than the author, since they're the ones who came up with the crazy system. But at least I was able to keep track of the important men. And Brook.

I appreciate that the romance is developed from close friendship, and it is believably rocky with all the transitions going on in their lives. But it is a good romance, blended beautifully into a rich, meaty story, with a fine balance of mystery, character development, and historic detail. Though at 435 pages it is a bit longer than the average novel, the length does justice to the tale. I'm looking forward to the next in the series! 5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing an e-copy for review. I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.

Ladies of the Manor
1. The Lost Heiress
2. The Reluctant Duchess
3. A Lady Unrivaled

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