The story shifts in chapters from Lady Emily's investigation to the tale of the very odd Estella and her endless foreign adventures. The format is a departure for the series, and it seems to work nicely; in essence, you have two tales unfolding in parallel, and I'm hard pressed to decide which was more interesting. As an unfolding psychological portrait, Estella Lamar can't be beat. As a murder mystery, the tale is interesting, but Estella really takes the novel over. As always, Lady Emily and her Edwardian world of glamor and entitlement - to say nothing of her sexy husband - will sweep you up. Best read in order, although you could do this as a stand-alone. It's a 4.
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