A woman with psychic powers and a man who believes only what he can see make a formidable pair.
Miss Beatrice Lockwood worked with Roland Fleming at the Academy of the Occult until he was brutally murdered. After fleeing the scene, Beatrice was fortunate to find a job with Flint & Marsh, a pair of talented women who provide paid companions with paranormal talents. While serving as a companion to a lady who’s been targeted by a fortune hunter, Beatrice is approached at a ball by handsome, mysterious Joshua Gage, aka Mr. Smith’s Messenger. Gage, who carried out assignments for the government before he was badly hurt, has come out of retirement to aid his sister, who’s being blackmailed by someone, with all signs pointing to Beatrice as the culprit. Despite his suspicions, Gage is immediately attracted to Beatrice, who agrees to go with his sister to a house party at Alverstoke Hall, where the blackmailer has set up a meeting. The blackmailer is found murdered, and Beatrice is nearly kidnapped by the assassin known as the Bone Man, the same man who killed Fleming. Realizing that Beatrice is the target and the blackmail just a scheme to lure her into a dangerous situation, she and Gage flee, posing as a married couple until they can return to London. There, they mount a desperate campaign against an unknown enemy who will do anything to get what he wants.
The second in the Victorian Ladies of Lantern Street series, though not the best of Quick’s popular romantic mysteries (Crystal Gardens, 2012, etc.), still contains all the requisite elements: romance, sex, mystery and clever repartee.