The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan is my latest review book, and I wish I had a glowing review for it. It's not that it's a bad book by any means; there are parts of it that move quickly and kept me interested. But overall the book was just so unfocused! At times it read like an Austen novel, complete with romantic innuendo and intrigue, and then it would switch over to mystery mode, which I found at times confusing and at times just plain boring. A more focused approach might have given the story a fluid storyline; instead I was bounced between romance and mystery without either being woven well into the other. Among my other gripes is that just when the "Austen-ish" feel would take over, the gentlemen would begin cursing in front of the lady, something so out of the time customs that it would just jerk me out of the story. Plus I kept feeling as though it was set in the wrong time period; the Austen-ish (I hate to keep using that word, but that's how it seemed) feel made it seem as though it should have been fifteen-twenty years later than 1795, but the necessity of the war between France and Britain kept it from that setting. Does that make sense? Probably about as much sense to you as reading it did to me....
It's not a bad book. I need to keep reiterating that. It's just that it's not what I was expecting, and beyond that, it didn't live up to its potential. I can accept historial mystery, and I can accept historical romance, but when they should be woven seamlessly and they aren't, it just drags the book down.
I have a much fuller review available on amazon at http://www.amazon.com/review/R2O41T105G87T8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm.