I always enjoy being transported to the past by Darry Fraser, I know I’ve said it before but she has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are there with the characters in that period.
For me, this felt more romantic than her previous novel, which I really enjoyed as I seem to be in the mood for a lot of romance at the moment. I could feel the connection between Stella Truehart and private detective Bendigo Barrett from the moment they meet.
This time we are taken to Geelong in 1898, where Stella is now alone after losing her beloved grandmother. Her abusive husband is dead or is he, someone is stalking her, and then Bendigo Barrett turns up saying he has information from a mystery woman about her father who she has never met and knows nothing about. Life is becoming a bit too interesting for Stella, and dangerous. Luckily Stella has some wonderful friends and now she has Bendigo to help look out for her and help her discover the truth about her father.
I really loved diving into this novel, the mystery and the history of the time were very interesting, I always learn a great deal about Australian history in these novels. I knew nothing of the confederate ships, or the constitution, so I found this very interesting.
Women were still fighting for equal rights with men, and fighting to get the vote in their state. What women had to endure in terms of little rights back then makes me very glad to be where we are today, even if we do still have a way to go, especially in terms of spousal abuse, at least these days it is not acceptable, even if it does happen far far too often, this is something that needs to change big time.
Stella’s friends Faith and Joy were great characters and provided plenty of humour even when frightening things were happening, Stella couldn’t have asked for better friends in the girls and their parents. I loved Bendigo, he had a great heart and a great moral compass, he was wonderful to his sister’s and despite having had a bad experience and an ex-wife, he wasn’t afraid to give his heart to Stella. Stella was a tough woman, having survived a great deal and being drawn into a dangerous mystery, she deals with her trauma in the only way she knows, not wanting to rely on anyone, but ultimately learning having others to lean on can make you stronger.
This was a great read and I can’t wait to see where and when Darry Fraser takes me next.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.