It's not necessary, of course, to remember just who it was of the heroine's kin who took center stage in Carr's previous volume. In this loosely coupled romantic series, each breathless adventure floats handily on its own--undulating energetically with much marrying, some burying, nasty work in houses grand and lowly, in London or in a lofty countryside, and with a haunt or two. Here, late-Victorian Rebecca, daughter of Angelet of The Pool of St. Branok (1987), soldiers on. To her daughter's disgust, Rebecca's widowed mother has married rich politician Benedict Lansdon (one of Carr's powerful, flawed gentlemen who, in later years, tend to belly up into goodness). After Mother's death in childbirth, Rebecca, in despair, shuns her stepfather; but the love of her Cornwall grandparents; her determined loyalty to baby sister Belinda; and her cherishing of an adopted baby, Lucie (offspring of a village girl of wandering wits), keep Rebecca on an even keel. Then there's a proposal from a dear childhood friend, good Pedrek; Benedit marries again (unhappily); and a strange "partner" of Benedict's lurks around. There's also a disappearance; a terrible rumor that sends Pedrek to Australia; and odd doings that involve a fire-and-brimstone preaching midwife and her timid daughter. By the close, folks are left with a passel of troubles, and St. Branok's Pool is still evil-ing up the neighborhood. A durable, reliable series--jump on anytime.