I am an enthusiastic fan of the Miss Seeton books–especially the early ones by Heron Carvic. This book finds our Miss Seeton being made an official part of the police force, still in her role as occasional sketch artist to help the authorities with particular problems.
This time, there is a double plot at work–one involving black magic, witchery and the occult, and the other centered on a new religious sect called Nuscience whose principal goal seems to be to separate affluent members from their money and valuables. Of course, Miss Seeton find herself involved with both the witches and Nuscience and her duties become quite hazardous.
In truth, I didn’t find this book as laugh-out-loud funny as some other Miss Seeton books I have read recently. The plot is rather intricate and the author becomes enmeshed in a detailed description of both sinister plots and their inner workings. I found this section a bit tedious. Also, a central character is named Merilee (similar to my first name). Perhaps I am oversensitive, but in my experience this name is rarely found in literature, and when it is the character is often a bit off. This book follows that pattern–although this Merilee does redeem herself–at a cost–in the end.
But back to the central character: in the course of her work Miss Seeton serves as a substitute teacher for a short time, and the story of how she interacts with the youngsters, turning their boredom into enthusiasm, is engaging. Since I spent several years as a teacher myself, I particularly enjoyed that aspect of the book.
Once again, Miss Seeton’s helpers–human and angelic–find themselves highly challenged keeping the determined little lady safe. Events are also particularly hard on the brollys–several are destroyed or severely damaged in the course of the story. And once again, Miss Seeton foils the evildoers and emerges from her labors relatively unscathed by her daredevil feats.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for making this book available for me to read and review. It is most enjoyable.