Lord John is once again in the midst of a mystery. However, this time it is a mystery that has haunted his family since his childhood. Lord John's father, the late Duke of Pardloe, was found dead in his home, a gun in his hand and his reputation sullied with rumours of being a Jacobite sympathizer. Did the Duke kill himself? Lord John knows he didn't and is desperate to prove it and in the process, reclaim his father's honour.
I liked this book more than the first installment in the Lord John series. As the story moves between John investigating his father's mysterious death, John's love affair with Percy Wainwright and his preparations for war, the reader learns a great deal more about this nobleman. A large part of the book focuses on the growing relationship between Lord John and Percy, with well-written, tender love scenes as well as some rough and raunchy ones too. If you are a homophobic fool, this is not the book for you. Although Lord John finds himself growing more and more fond of Percy, he cannot dispel the feelings he still holds for Jamie Fraser. Lord John's unrequieted love for the Outlander Scotsman makes me feel sympathy for him, for it is a deeply felt love, one within his soul, one he cannot forget, even in the arms of another lover.
Once again, Diana Gabaldon is amazing in her descriptions of historical accounts, with gripping battle scenes that make you feel the explosions of the cannons as they tear through the air. I did find the story to be a bit convoluted at times, with many names and connections to be remembered. However, I truly enjoyed the personal insights into Lord John's life...his relationship with his older brother Hal, his growing love for another man, and his sense of honour. This is an interesting and engaging book, written with wit and humour and full of details of 18th century London society. I will surely be reading the third and final installment.