Book 54 of 2015: Nero’s Fiddle by A.W. Exley

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One… death by spontaneous human combustion is a rare act of God
Two… is surely a freakish coincidence
Three… well, that’s starting to look deliberate.
Cara has a new role as Queen Victoria’s artifact hunter, she’s adapting to married life and living in a country manor that more closely resembles a mausoleum.
In London, Inspector Fraser investigates a series of strange deaths by divine fire – except he doesn’t believe in coincidences. Despite himself, he enlists Cara’s help to identify what artifact could cause such a hideous death while his desire to bring her husband to justice burns unabated.
Someone’s intent on making sure a decades old secret stays hidden and Cara must figure out who is responsible before this case consumes her family and rocks the entire realm to its foundations.

I received this book from the publisher, Curiousity Quills Press, for an honest review.

Nero’s Fiddle is the third book in the Artifact Hunters Series. The series follows the life of Cara and Nate as they search for artifacts that have magical properties. Set in a steampunk London, the books are filled with adventure and intrigue. Some are more like spy novels whereas others are more like murder mysteries. This one, is a mix between the two.

Following the events of Hatshepsut’s Collar, a series of unusual deaths are occuring in London. The determined and possibly obsessed Inspector Hamish Fraser is on the search for a culprit. During all this, Cara and Nate are gathering artifacts, setting up shop, and deciding on their future: Parliament or Spy ring?

The character growth was more to their relationship than personal. Given the quickness to their intimacy, that doesn’t really surprise me. We are met with another character, Malachi, who owns the bookstore that Cara visited in the first book. Another interesting thing is the story line that goes on as the book is going. There is a novella that features Amy. It is actually set the same time in this book and had some things that I could see reflecting back in the novella. I’m thinking I’m going to have to read it later on.

The book isn’t as quick paced as the first one, but there are chapters in the book that deal with the past. As in Nessy and Nan, the lovable eccentric elderly duo. I love what we see in the two. It was interesting to see their friendship from the beginning and the events that challenged their lives. It was these chapters that kept me more interested, just because I didn’t know where they fit in.

They fit in nicely, by the way.

The book really begins picking up pace about 60% in. From the beginning to that point, the book is still interesting along with the characters, but it’s that percentage that you are engrossed in the story. I found myself smacking my head realizing the turn of events. Very nice.

In all, this was a good addition to the series.

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