The Richmond Thief (Lady Althea Mystery, 1)
by Lisa Boero

I am a huge fan of Lady Grey and Lady Darby, so I was hoping Lady Althea would be similar to those two other sleuthful ladies of the ton, connected by their shared passion for science/inquiry.

Lady Althea is less fully formed as a person in my reading of this novel than the other two. This is more polite conversation with just a smidge of sleuthing. I did enjoy the parts where Althea makes the very unlady-like converation about decay, beetles, etc. part of her ton conquest of several suitors, but at times I felt like skimming the overly-polite chatter with non-consequential folks.

As a passing diversion, this book hits the spot, but it didn’t quite make me fall in love with either Althea or Norwich (who was decidedly boorish at times in a way that didn’t appeal to me as much as Nicholas Brisbane’s angsty boorishness). Also Althea’s encounter with the masked thief struck me as out of the blue…and the kind of insta-attraction that doesn’t really appeal to my particular tastes when a more drawn out relationship where we see Althea suspect who the thief is and then wrestles with her reactions to him would have made this better in my opinion.

I can get the second book for free with the Kindle owner lending library so I’ll go on one more book to see if the dialogue tightens up or the romantic tension notches up.