by Jo Ann Ferguson

January 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7520-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Grave Intentions is the second book in the Priscilla Flanders series, where widowed Priscilla gets together with her long time family friend, Sir Neville Hathaway, to solve the murders happening in her own neighborhood, Bedford Square.

A series of deaths have been plaguing Bedford Square in London, where Priscilla and her three children reside during their stay in Town. To reassure her overanxious household staff, ensure the safety of her children, and, most likely her driving reason, to satisfy her own curiosity, Priscilla, with the help of the handsome and rakish Neville, investigates these mysterious murders, which leads them both the London’s “underworld.”

Having never read the first book in this series, this second installment can very nearly stand-alone. Very nearly because there are references to the first book that is not fully elucidated – that, and the fact that the relationship between Priscilla and Neville has apparently passed the first stage in the first story and blossoms here.

Priscilla and Neville make a great couple – neither one dispute the fact that each is an intelligent person and never takes that for granted, especially in solving the mystery. However, the mystery is the forefront while the romance is subtly in the background… which is highly unsatisfying if you’re expecting to read a regency romance. The looks and touches between Priscilla and Neville, even their thoughts about one another are fleeting, and successfully add to the romantic tension between them. But as good as subtle is, it’s simply not enough for this reader! The relationship is unspoken for the most part, but everyone in the book, from the servants to their friends, seems to know what’s going on between the two – except for the reader!

The mystery is good, but it drags in face of the lack of romantic scenes between Priscilla and Neville. There are a few almost kisses, but like I mentioned, they are fleeting and the mystery always take precedence, which, I suppose, makes sense since lives are at stake!

It’s a cracking well-written mystery and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another regency romance by Ms. Ferguson. Happily ever after between Priscilla and Neville, however, is not yet quite done, but it’s definitely getting there… hopefully there’s more romantic interludes between the two lovers in the next installment in this series.

Reviewed in March 2003 by Veronica.

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