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It's hard to believe that I have reached the end of this series... well, I do harbor some hope that this isn't the ultimate end of the series and that Raybourn will one day return to these wonderful characters - after all, the set up is still there for the Rome plot... and the Vespiary hasn't been truly created either... so there are clear foundations laid for new directions!
But, in the meantime, the series seems to conclude on another holiday themed novella. This one covers the late fall (and all the way through Christmas). Brisbane's nefarious sire sets this plot into motion. And while it is not entirely unpredictable, it is a fun and fast-paced listen that I quite enjoyed. I've got to get started listening to something else, now, and I am just sad to say good bye to these characters - I have really enjoyed listening to all of the novellas and novels... and I definitely want to check out Raybourn's other novels, as well as more books performed by this talented narrator!
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Setting: Berkshire, England Main action between Halloween & Guy Fawkes
Nicholas Brisbane inherits an estate under condition that he accept immediately and be on hand to personally collect the quarterly rents, due in the next week, on Guy Fawkes night (AKA bonfire night). So the Brisbane household - Lady Julia; Brisbane; their adopted son Jack; the child’s nanny (Morag, Julia erstwhile lady’s maid); the new lady’s maid; and Aquinas, Lady Julia’s indespensible butler - go to visit Lesser Wembley in Berkshire. They are accompanied by Lady Julia’s brother Plum and their sister Portia, her lady’s maid, Poria’s Daughter Jane the Younger, and her nanny. They find Brisbane’s inherited estate in excellent condition, with a highly competent housekeeper and wonderful cook. They also find numerous stories of ghosts and hauntings. The question is, is the inheritance too good to be true? Are the ghosts real? Who is behind it all?
All the characters, both old and new, are interesting and the plot is tight. Ellen Archer’s narration continues to be good.
This novella was published in 2014 as an ebook. It is, thus far, the last in this series. Raybourn appears to be concentrating on her Veronica Speedwell series and other stand alone books since then. I, for one, hope she returns to the Lady Julia mysteries in the future.