The second installment of the Detective Lavender series was actually a less interesting mystery but a better book than the first. A woman is found dead and a twisty, turny, ever-changing plot that’s mostly predictable follows. The first mystery had a bit more MYSTERY to it, but this one was better written and a lot more in depth into the characters. Though I saw every twist and turn coming in THE SANS PEREIL MYSTERY, I actually cared about the characters more this time.
Unlike the first book, Lavender was more accessible and more easy to relate to as a real character. In this story, I found myself actually caring what happened to him. His personal struggles were heartfelt and I actually cared about Magdalena and his relationship with her. In the first book, I remember mostly only caring about Woodes and the side characters, but this time, I really cared about Lavender, Woodes, Magdelana, and even Teresa and Betsy. I feel like the author really found her groove in writing characters as people not as plot pieces for this novel, and it was a far better attempt than the first.
The mystery is interesting enough. All of the twists and turns are very clearly telegraphed along the way, so it isn’t an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but it’s still worth reading. I was never bored, which is reasonable enough.
I would definitely recommend this one to others who like an easy read in historical fiction.