This series is a meticulously researched masterpiece with believable characters, engaging plots, subtlety, murder, and well written narrative set against an overarching background of historical skullduggery, politics and the attendant mayhem which inevitably follows powerful people trying to grasp and solidify even more power. This particular installment sees Owen disentangling two mysterious deaths in his official capacity which soon turn into three.
The plots are always convoluted and well engineered, full of twists and surprises and this one certainly fits the bill. The story itself is written around a framework of real historical events and people and so well entwined that it's not always apparent where reality shades over into fiction.
Whilst an entertaining read, I did find myself struggling sometimes with the plethora of secondary characters and keeping all the servants, drudges, shopkeepers, and religious adherents of various orders and affiliations straight was taxing for me. I found myself having to check back in the story to remember which family was which. It's a relatively minor problem though, and considering the high quality of the writing, worth the occasional confusion.
Overall, it's a good read and a quality example of the historical mystery subgenre. I highly recommend this book (and the series) to fans of P.C. Doherty, Kate Sedley, Michael Jecks, and similar. Four stars.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.