Book two in this series is even better than the first one. This should not be read as a standalone. I highly recommend reading the first book to understand why Mallory is stuck in the late 1800s. This story starts of with a few slow sentences and then immediately escalates up into full action. I love it.
In the first book, I'm not exactly enamoured with Mallory. Her backstory and her adjustment to falling through time is difficult for me but much needed. In this story, there is less about Mallory's situation and more about crime solving.
What I like most is the comparisons of detective work over 150 years span. I like how Ms. Armstrong shows what has changed and what hasn't. Unfortunately, some of the haven't changed is attitudes towards women and minorities. C'est la vie. Following along with Mallory as she is frustrated to keep her talents under the radar is cathartic. I say this because many a times I am confronted at work with people using late 1900s technology when we are a couple of decades into the 21st century already. I completely sympathize with Mallory.
I also loved learning more about Duncan and his family in this second book. If things go the way they are in this book, I'm hoping to see more family members in following books. The family interactions plus how this mystery planned out kept me riveted. I can understand Duncan's wistfulness when he thinks about Mallory returning to her own timeline. I do not know how Ms. Armstrong will be resolving this one and I'm fretting just like Duncan. I like this life Mallory is creating with Duncan yet she is out of place. It is difficult to interact with two different places and then have to chose between them. The only one thing I want to mention is that the Poisoner's Ring has multiple means and I never thought of it the way Ms. Armstrong brings up. I like it. It is more than just an "object". That is all the hint I will give.
This time traveling mystery is highly recommended to readers who enjoy a mix of contemporary with historical.
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