My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ten books in and I'm still very much enjoying this series. It opens a few weeks after the birth of Sebastian and Hero's son, the colicky Simon. Stanley Preston has been found on Bloody Bridge decapitated and nearby is a piece of a lead coffin bearing the name Charles the First. Sebastian is asked to assist much to the horror of his sister who blames this unusual behavior for a Lord to be the reason her daughter isn't finding a good match in her Coming Out Season. Hero's father, the highly placed, ambitious and cruel Lord Jarvis isn't thrilled either, especially now that Sebastian is a father.
Preston is a collector of historically important people's possessions right down to their heads, including one reported to be Cromwell's. This takes Sebastian to all sorts of bizarre places which don't always get the items legally. This makes them dangerous. He was also hot headed and made enemies from his daughter who wanted to marry beneath her, to other collectors and even Henry and Jane Austen; yes, that Jane Austen.
As for Hero she is investigating the lives of costermongers in her Bluestocking ways of using her privilege to advance life for women especially and those of a lower social strata. Naturally her father isn't thrilled with this and just as naturally she'll come across something that will be helpful to her husband.
Jarvis also has to reluctantly turn to Sebastian for help. That bit of King Charles's coffin is real. The lost, one-time disposed and executed king has been found but the grave was to remain untouched until the Prince Reagent could see it. He wants back what was stolen.
As always it's a good, entertaining mystery. I love Sebastian and Hero and this was another solid entry into the series.
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