THE QUEEN AND THE KNAVE (Proper Romance Victorian), by Sarah M. Eden, Shadow Mountain, Sept. 5, 2023, Paperback, $16.99 (young adult/ new adult/ adult fiction)
Sarah M. Eden’s Dread Penny Society comes to a close with the final book in the series, The Queen and the Knave.
Móirín Donnelly has spent the last five years working in the shadows for the Dread Penny Society, but spending so much of her life in secret is taking a toll on her soul ― and her heart.
When members of the Dread Penny Society begin disappearing, Móirín turns to Detective Constable Fitzgerald Parkington for help. The two have developed a friendly rapport, and Móirín feels like she can trust him, though perhaps not with all of her secrets.
Fitzgerald Parkington has a sixth sense when it comes to hunting down criminals, which is why he’s recently been transferred to the Detective Department at Scotland Yard. But when red tape keeps him from tracking down the criminal mastermind known as “The Tempest,” he must rely on the one woman who has unexpectedly captured his heart ― the bold and fiery Irish lass, Móirín Donnelly.
As the Tempest’s deadly reach threatens to overwhelm all of London, Móirín and Fitz are caught in an elaborate game of cat and mouse that leads down back alleys, through dark London buildings, and right to the gates of Kensington Palace. Móirín has one chance to save Fitz and the Dread Penny Society from the Tempest, and she might have to sacrifice her one chance at love to do so. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain
The Queen and the Knave is the fifth book in Sarah M. Eden’s Victorian romance series. While all five books — including The Lady and the Highwayman, The Gentleman and the Thief, The Merchant and the Rogue, The Bachelor and the Bride — can technically stand alone, the fourth and fifth books prove they really should be read in order.
As is the case with all The Dread Penny Society novels, two seemingly disparate characters — in this case Móirín and Fitz — are drawn together against a dangerous foe. But unlike the previous books, this one answers all the questions and ties up the loose threads.
The romance element of The Queen and the Nave is fairly predictable, but the journey there is an adventure. And Móirín and Fitz are an enjoyable couple. Their banter is light and energetic and moves the action forward.
The Queen and the Knave is a smart Victorian Proper Romance that combines mystery, adventure, and romance into a cohesive tale that parents won’t mind handing off to their older teens.
*In conjunction with the publication of The Queen and the Knave, Shadow Mountain has released The Dread Penny Society, a cloth-covered hardcover collector’s anthology compiling all the penny dreadful short stories from Sarah M. Eden’s five-book Victorian romance series. Learn more here.
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