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Review: Daunting Dilemmas – Edale Lane

Daunting Dilemmas - Edale Lane

Genre: Mystery, Historical, Steampunk Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Lesbian

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Sometimes one must lie to live her truth.

Stetson has been fooling London for ten years while her fictitious alter-ego solves crimes. But could a criminal mastermind put her carefree days of sleuthing in jeopardy?

Evelyn longs to be recognized for her talent; will her music prove to be the key in helping Stetson solve a mystery?

While Jack the Ripper terrorizes London, Stetson closes in on the art thief she has been after for months; however, will catching him place her in an impossible position which threatens to expose her?

The Review

Daunting Dilemmas is such an entertaining book, a series of mystery novellas featuring my favorite Victorian-age investigator and mastermind Stetson Goody, and her talented pianist girlfriend Evelyn Merritt.

Stetson is still trying to capture an art thief, but is faced with other investigations.  Which is good because the commissions are sorely needed. Stetson becomes immersed in a murder case brought to her by Jonathan McGrath, an escaped mental patient; a young pickpocket’s case; a Judge’s murder; and all the while she is tempted by the Jack the Ripper case plaguing Scotland Yard and Inspector Ruben Perry. And even though she is overwhelmed with investigations, she continue to pursue the art thief case, which takes her to Lord Bertram Bythesea.  

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Stetson and Evelyn are making a great effort to have their families in their home. There’s so much to prepare for. For Evelyn, it’s especially exciting, as she gets to perform at the Royal Albert Hall. But Stetson still has a bothersome crime to solve and she feels she’s finally getting close to the end. She promises Evelyn she will not miss the family celebration. But will the celebration be ruined by what Stetson is to discover?

I am throughly entertained with Stetson Goody and “The Wellington Mysteries”. I like the way Edale Lane sets up each volume, with the novellas featuring a variety of investigations mixed in with the art heists storyline. Each novella brings a host of characters and old/new disguises that Stetson creates to aid in the investigations that arise along the way.

The relationship between Stetson and Evelyn, two wonderful characters, is perfect. Evelyn is smart, talented and has a subtle way of helping Stetsons with her investigations. She fears that Stetson puts her life in danger, but she never fails to support her in her decisions. Their relationship is sweet, loving and doesn’t need to be overdone with an explicit physical connection. It’s truly a love from the hearts of both women.

And it’s also a time when their very relationship is a danger. I’m excited to see how their relationship progress in future books, along with whatever new investigations may come Stetson’s way.

There’s always a side character that catches my eye, and Lord Bertram Byethesea is one of them. No matter what happened, I felt for Lord Bertram. he had a clear developing crush on Xavier and Stetson. And Inspector Ruben Perry also seems to like Stetson. This creates another mystery, do Perry and Bertram know who Stetson really is?

These novellas also deal with two different families. Evelyn’s sister Liz, brother-in-law Owen and children Lilly and Thomas, and Stetson’s cousin Andrew, wife Janice, little Stewart and of course Sebastian.

I highly recommend Daunting Dilemmas with its five novellas: “Appearances”,“Declivity of Madness”, “The Pickpocket”, “The Locked Room”, and “Showtime.” It’s a series of dangerous investigations which continues the development of her beautiful relationship with Evelyn Merritt.

Daring Duplicity (review here), volume one of the “The Wellington Mysteries,” started Stetson Goody’s adventures into the world of investigations. Perilous Passages is volume two, and is just as entertaining as the very first book.  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.


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