A Kiss from the Marquess (The Duke’s Lost Treasures Book 2)

Simon Webb, the Marquess of Vanbridge, is a bit of a recluse who employs quirky household servants who add a lot of personality to this story. Simon creates multiple exhibits for the Museum of Antiquities, hires a director, and then basically washes his hands of it. Norah Wright and her two sisters, Ella and Lena, were raised on Oak Island in Nova Scotia with their parents. Sadly, both parents are now deceased. Her father recently died in a freak accident after a quarrel with Norah. Having nowhere else to go, they travel to London in the mid-1870s to live with their estranged grandfather, the Duke of Rothwood. He is a crotchety old man who is slowly warming up to his granddaughters. He disowned their mother when she married David Wright, and she died before repairing their relationship. To ease her guilt for the circumstances of her father’s death, Norah wants to see her father’s treasure-hunting journey portrayed in a creative exhibit in Simon’s museum, and he agrees to this; unfortunately, the museum is experiencing a spate of exhibit thefts.
A significant part of this book details the investigation into the missing exhibit pieces with minimal progress catching the culprit. Meanwhile, the protagonists are getting to know each other, so the investigation serves to facilitate this purpose. When the reason behind the thefts is revealed, it seems somewhat petty. Nevertheless, readers understand the motivational forces behind the main characters as the story progresses, while the peripheral characters stay fairly shallow. The story is entertaining. The pace is engaging and includes a moderate amount of tension. The dialogue is delightful--especially when Simon’s staff is featured!
Carey Sullivan