Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My Maiden Lane series reading continues and with this one....
It's 18th Century Batman.
Past books have included the "Ghost of St. Giles," a legend, yes; but also a real person, masked. In this book, the fake Ghost of St. Giles is, well, Batman. A rich man, with an exercise routine to keep fit, a mansion, a faithful manservant, a secret entrance and a bat cave (OK a basement type thing connected to his house.)
Honestly, once I realized this I didn't pay much heed to anything else. The anything else is Batman, er, Godric St. John is rich and has a tragic backstory. His beloved wife died; then he married a young woman for reasons (she was pregnant and needed a husband and well reasons that make sense in the books); but she lost the baby and has been living at his country house with some of his relatives.
Except now his wife, Margaret, has come to town, with those relatives (basically stepmother and half-sisters he's estranged from).
Complications: she blames the Ghost of St. Giles for the death of her beloved (aka the baby daddy who got her pregnant and then died.)
So she hates his secret identity! Oh, spoiler: the ghost didn't kill the beloved, and the mystery here is about who did, and why. It's connected to the rich folks of London who take advantage of the poor - a theme in a few of these books, in one way or another. Sometimes it's the evil gin; sometimes it's prostitution, sometimes it's sweat shops.
And to make it spicy, Margaret wants a baby something fierce so has decided she'll seduce her husband.
I was so-so with some prior ones, but this one more than made up for it.
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