Marcantonio brings her characters to life through vivid storytelling. Felicity is especially engaging as the protagonist. An independent, well-educated, wealthy woman, she is gifted with a flawless memory, absolute recall of everything she has encountered throughout her life ... The story moves quickly, it never wavers or moves off point. Clues are cleverly positioned for the reader to find ... Marcantonio really does an excellent job of keeping her protagonist one step ahead of the reader, while still giving the reader all the clues. It does, however, become obvious who the killer is, just a few steps before Felicity determines the identity, and yet the story continues to be intriguing to see how Felicity will resolve the problem and dispatch the killer ... the first in this series, and if Marcantonio continues in this vein, she will have a good series with many fans.
This new series is off to a good start with a strong, intelligent main character who struggles to overcome the cultural strictures of her time. For fans of cozy Victorian mysteries and admirers of Robin Paige, Elizabeth Peters, and Deanna Raybourn.
The mystery is interesting, and the Arthurian elements will appeal to Arthurian scholars, particularly how the figure of the Lady of the Lake is used. The author provides considerable background historical information on not only Arthurian legend, but the places visited and scientific developments in the 19th century. While this may be excused as a reflection of Felicity’s own wide-ranging interests, it does become intrusive and slow down the plot ... Recommended to those looking for a female superhero out to right wrongs and defy convention to do so.
Behind the welcome Victorian detail lies a so-so debut mystery. But readers who hunger for more portraits of independent women determined to make their ways in a stultifying society will take the heroine to heart.