October 26, 2013

The Valley of the Shadow by Carola Dunn

This book is the third in a series.  I haven't read the first two, but I don't feel that I missed out on all that much by not reading them.  Just a bit of back-story.

Eleanor always seems to be where the action is.  Or at least where something foul is afoot.  She doesn't mean to be, it just happens.  And when it does she feels compelled to do whatever she can to help.  Despite local authorities not enjoying that help.  So when a man is rescued from a dangerous bay, and tells of his family trapped in the nearby caves, once again, Eleanor has to find out what happens, before something terrible befalls the family.

Eleanor was not as much of a focus as I expected her to be in the book.  Her niece actually plays a slightly larger role.  They're both great characters.  They have their own personalities and are strong and independent.  I think that the men were actually a bit weaker.  They all had some kind of flaw or dis-likable quality.  But that also made them more real than the female characters.  The bad guy I didn't find very menacing.  There wasn't enough history to really understand or care about why the person was doing what they were doing.

I enjoyed the setting of the book.  Taking place a few decades ago, it examined the relationships between the English and those of Indian descent and the turmoil between the races that was present at the time.  It's actually what set the whole mystery in motion.  That being said, despite it being charming, I found the first part of the book too slow in pace while the end was too rapid and didn't have enough explanation.  It felt too quick to be real.  And it lessened my enjoyment of an otherwise good mystery because of it.

I'm not sure if I'd go back and read the first two, or even more in the series.  They were a nice cozy, but I think more ardent fans of Dunn would like them more.

The Valley of the Shadow
Copyright 2012
309 pages

No comments:

Post a Comment