I love the Lord Sebastian Devlin series. Set in the early 1800's it stands out from all the historical mysteries that so love Victorian era England. Just 70 years before the 1880's the world was very different and underused. While all the mysteries are stand alone, there are two strong subplots that would be more enjoyable if you started at the beginning.
Devlin is brought into a murder investigation by his friend the one-legged surgeon/anatomist, Paul Gibson who received a body from the cemetery (illegally dug up since dissection was illegal then) with a stiletto wound to his head. Young dead Mr. Ross was with the foreign affairs office and supposedly died from a heart attack.
Pretty much all of London's elite know Devlin only gets involved in deaths so keeping an investigation hushed is impossible. Ross's boss Sur Hyde, head if the foreign office is not pleased. The novel draws from real events in that at this time the foreign office is involved with Sweden, Russia, Napoleonic France and the United States who might declare war on British Canada.
Therefore, these doings would involve his father Earl of Hendon and his father's enemy Lord Charles Jarvis. Devlin can't rule out either of them as suspects. There are plenty of suspects, a French book dealer, Ross's landlady, also French nobility, the Russian and Turkish ambassadors, mysterious Americans and Swedes. Even Hero Jarvis's cousins Sabrina Cox, Ross's fiancée, and her unpleasant brother Jasper.
Hero, Lord Jarvis's daughter is equally caught up in the mystery. Here's where one of those subplots gone in. Two books back she and Devlin shared a near death experience and passions ran high and naturally, she's pregnant. In this time period that it utter ruin. Even highbred women could find themselves turned out onto the streets. Hero planned to go to Germany for several years and come home with an 'adopted' child. To Devlin's surprise, she finally agrees to be his wife. She is, to my mind, an excellent partner for him, brave, intelligent and outspoken.
The web of intrigue is well planned and the mystery fascinating. Devlin and Hero struggle to figure out who the murderer is before he or she kills them and plan a quickie wedding. It is one of the best mysteries I've read all year.
The down side is some of the subplots. We know that Devlin is in love with an actress, his father's illegitimate child, Kate and he still wants her in spite of her own marriage. Also, his father isn't really his father and Devlin is angry about the deception ((several people in the know told him to get over it since this man was his father in all but blood). The book harped on this all the way through, very annoying. I would like to be over with this. Also overdone was the loveless marriage deal with Devlin and Hero. Most marriages of the wealthy were more business deals but at least the end gave hope it would not be so loveless. Over all though it's excellent, almost five stars.
Locke & Key: Head Games by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
This is much better than the first bound volume, which I did like, but it was too jumpy timeline wise. This one is much more linear. The young Locke siblings are dealing with the after affects of the attacks from book one and knowing something escaped the wheelhouse and their mother's increasing alcoholism. Their uncle Duncan has returned to the cape to return to his lover, Brian, and his job. Unbeknownst to the kids,Tyler's - the eldest of the Locke siblings - new friend, Zack is the creature from the wheelhouse.
We see what the Lockes don't see. Zackwas a teenaged friend of their father and something bad happened then. Now Zack is tormenting and killing the adults his teenaged self used to hang out with. Then Bode, the youngest sibling finds one of the magically keys attached to the house. This one opens a persons head allowing one to shove books in to be absorbed or memories to be plucked out, his two teenaged siblings immediately do the dumbest things they can with it and Zack gets hold of it. Zack also believes he needs to deal with Duncan who is still reeling after his partner stirs up crap with a group of homophobes.
The art is much improved and the story line more cohesive. Unlike the first book, however, this story arc isn't entirely complete.
Books: 32 Manga : 34