I couldn't wait any longer to afford this and so I read a library copy--three novellas starring Lord John Gray. Two have been published elsewhere, Lord John and the Haunted Soldier is new. As always, they are excellent both in the telling of history and in characterization. These stories meld well with the two stand-alone Lord John novels and there is slight mention of Jamie Fraser each time. I would give a higher rating if I could.
Lord John is a minor character from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. He is a homosexual man in the 18th century England where it was against the law to be gay. There is absolutely no sex scenes in any of these books just the hint of longing from Lord John. He mentions someones hands (or lips) and how they would feel to hold (or kiss). That kind of thing only so the homosexual aspect is really in the closet and doesn't impact the stories at all.
This is a collection of 3 novels. Contains Lord John and The Hellfire Club, Lord John and the Succubus, and Lord John and the Haunted Soldier. All three revolve around the war with France while England was allied with Germany and Prussia. All three are terrific and involve someone being killed and Lord John investigating and solving the murders.
The three stories included in this novel are very good. Truly enjoy Lord John's adventures as a soldier as he tries to extricate himself from various situations and investigates murders, thefts, and more.
The first story is titled Lord John and the Hellfire Club and begins when John meets Harry Quarry's cousin by marriage, Robert Gerald, a good looking young man with flaming red hair. John knows that their romantic interests are the same but before he gets to know the young man, he is murdered in the street. John and Harry, puzzled by the murder, begin to investigate to determine who and why Gerald was murdered. John uncovers a secret sect that, one of whose members is responsible for the murder for his own reasons, and would have joined young Gerald in death except for Harry's intervention. Well done.
The second story, Lord John and the Succubus, takes place in Germany during the seven years war. John, his valet, Tom Byrd, and Stephen von Namzen, join forces to discover the cause of the deaths of first a German soldier and then and English one. Myth and superstition play a major role in the telling as soldiers and citizens alike search for a succubus that they believe is responsible for the death of at least the German soldier. The truth is far simpler but John and Tom Byrd must sift through the superstitious beliefs and actions of all involved to discover what really happened to both soldiers.
Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, the final story, finds John before a three member panel to explain his actions during a battle that resulted in an exploding gun that killed a young soldier and gravely wounds John himself. The three men seem determined to find fault with John's leadership and actions during the battle. John walks out on the inquisition determined to investigate for himself, not the least of which to discover whether or not he was indeed at fault. The tale is fascinating with many twists and turns as John finds himself drawn into situation after situation to help someone or uncover the truth of what happened during the battle. It's wonderfully well written.
I've read all three books of this series and absolutely love them..Lord John is one of my favorite characters. No one can write like Diana Gabaldon! Highly recommend the series and I'm hoping more books will be published in the future.
P.S. Because of Lord John's orientation, I just want to warn readers that some of this subject is touched upon so be aware.
I actually didn't read this book so this review isn't helpful. I LOVE Gabaldon's Outlander series but the books about Lord John leave me cold.