I continue to enjoy these books which I began reading only four days ago and have now completed Book #7. Further reveals are made about James Denis, sort of the all around mafia bad guy, who wants to keep Gabriel Lacey dangling on his string. But, of course, our dear Captain Lacey doesn't dangle on anyone's string, at least not for very long.
Our mystery in this book revolves around Mr. Denis' all around second in command, Mr. Chapman, going missing in Norfolk, Lacey's place of birth. Lacey had decided to go to his home place while participating in a house party in the region along with his lady love, Donata Breckenridge. During this visit, Lacey and Donata take a tour of Lacey's home which has fallen into ruin and begin to make plans to restore the house where they will spend their summers after they are wed.
But, Mr. Denis has an errand for Lacey to take care of while he's in the area which means the Denis crew descend upon the area with a vengeance as they look for very valuable original pieces of artwork. Concurrently with the mystery of the missing Mr. Chapman, Lacey runs into a secondary mystery when he finds a young woman's dress in his ruined estate. Lacey must find out who the dress belonged to because that's what he does and as he investigates this matter, more issues arise.
When Donata finds a notebook under the carpet in the drawing room belonging to Lacey's deceased mother, Lacey finds some secrets about his mother's life that reveals much about her of which he was unaware. As is usual, we have the great pleasure of Grenville's company, we see a little bit of Marianne and we are given further insight into James Denis'youth.
These books continually build upon the past books to flesh out the characters we have learned to love. Great job, Ms. Gardner!