Thank you to the team at Berkley Pub for gifting me this copy of A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray. All thoughts and images are my own.
Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)
February 1906. As the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia – and a woman of scrupulous character – Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected her duties to involve steaming through the Mediterranean on a private yacht under the prodigal eye of one Lord Silverton, the most charmingly corrupt bachelor in London. But here they are, improperly bound on a quest to find the duke’s enigmatic heir, current whereabouts unknown.
An expert on anachronisms, Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete. And from the moment Truelove and Silverton disembark, they are met with incidents of a suspicious nature: a ransacked flat, a murdered government employee, an assassination attempt. As they travel from port to port on Max’s trail, piecing together the strange event of the days before his disappearance, Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions – about the whims of the heart, the motives of men, and the nature of time itself…
Ok, this book has got it all. A bit of history, mythology, romance, even time travel! Ghosts talk and anachronisms abound. I really enjoyed this lighthearted romp through Europe, from England to Athens to Crete. Having recently traveled to both Athens and Crete, I found the scenes in those cities especially fun to read. And after a few extremely dark novels in a row, I found my head craving adventure and my heart wanting something bright.
If I have any complaints, they are for the way in which this book wrapped up. Williams was certainly trying not to wrap everything up, as to prepare the reader for the second book, but I found the bumps in the road that they hit unnatural, given the previous course of the writing. Luckily, I have the second one waiting on my bookcase, so I will be able to determine whether these hiccups were worth it!
Interested in this book? Click here to buy it on Amazon or find it at your local independent bookstore.