Author Randall new to that old genre that needs no name has told a fuller and different story better. About Eustacia who grows up innocent in the London town house where her mother runs a gaming table (and sometimes takes other occupants to bed) and who naively does not suspect that her marriage to Julian Kershaw of Dragonmede has been stage-managed (to pay off his debts). Once installed there she learns of its old curse -- the eldest son seems to always die prematurely, true of Julian's brother, true perhaps of Julian (who actually doesn't deserve to live) and potentially a danger to the child she is carrying. A bouffant period suspense story hostessed with more generosity than you have any reason to suspect. Gratefully, there's not even the promise of a rose garden.