Alexandrina Pendelbury is goddaughter of Queen Victoria and a member of Her Majesty’s psychic service. On Christmas eve she’s called in to do a Reading for a suicide, but the emotions surrounding the crime scene are strange, and the identity of the victim propels her into investigating a series of mysteries.
In many ways this book reminded me of Jaime Lee Moyer’s book, Delia’s Shadow. Though this one takes place further in the past and in England, rather than San Francisco, there’s a similar feel to the books, with their minimalistic paranormal elements and light romances (The Hanged Man’s being very subtle and unobtrusive).
I loved Alex. She’s intelligent, no nonsense, and prefers fight to flight. Her difficult family relationships add a touch of sympathy and edginess to her character. She’s not afraid of breaking the rules if it gets her closer to her end goal and she knows how to compartmentalize tragedy, dealing with it at appropriate times.
The mystery was entertaining and had several good twists, including the surprising inclusion of a rare paranormal creature that was a joy to see in a book again.
It’s a quick read and the start of a new series that I will definitely be following.