This is a somewhat disappointing
second entry in Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series -- authorial quirks that were charming in the first volume have been amplified to the point where there's little depth to the characters or plot. Alexia floats from one dangerous situation to another with seeming little volition of her own and the conclusions that all the characters continually jump to is maddening.
Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, wakes up one afternoon to discover her husband has been called away on business. She decides to investigate. What she discovers is enough to cause any gently bred lady to lose her temper: a regiment of soldiers on her front lawn, paranormal creatures reduced to mortality, exorcised ghosts and a mandate from Queen Victoria to find out just what is going on.
Alexia's investigations take her to Scotland, where she will not only discover things about herself and her nature, but where she will also discover things about her husband and his past -- and one other thing which will affect their future. (ORBIT, May, 400 pp., $7.99)