Lackey’s novels are normally reasonably entertaining even when they’re not hugely original. In this sixth Elemental Masters novel, Lord Peter Almsley bears an uncanny resemblance to Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey, which some may find distracting, especially considering Lackey’s fundamental misunderstandings about the British class system, which undermines the romantic conflict.
After his wife’s death, Earth Master Sir Richard Whitestone repudiates his infant daughter and isolates himself in the country. For 20 years, Susanne is raised by servants. When her father sees her for the first time he can’t believe his eyes: Susanne is the very image of her mother — and the perfect vessel to house the spirit of his long-dead wife. When Susanne figures out her father’s plans, she runs away and finds work as a servant in the household of Charles Kerridge. When Lord Peter Almsley comes to stay, his path crosses Susanne’s, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again. (DAW, Jun., 368 pp., $25.95)