This book was...OK...I guess. It's not that I didn't enjoy it. Emily was as great a character as in the first book and the mystery was actually better. However I had trouble with two of the the sub-plots. At first we have the Emily has a stalker-subplot. And it is a stalker, not just a secret admirer who sends flowers now and then. He breaks into her house to leaver her "presents" and he sends angry notes and wilted flowers after he saw her with another man. Neither Emily nor the book itself treat that subject with the seriousness it deserves. That whole plotline and the resolution just didn't sit right with me.
Another one was just plain stupid. Ivy, one of Emily's closest friends is newly married but doesn't get pregnant. Not for any medical reasons but because Robert, her husband, never sleeps with her. He always comes home late and if Ivy is still awake by then he suggests she should take sleeping-powders because staying up so late must be bad for her health. Still he also joins the chorus of people nagging Ivy about when she will have an heir. I am not sure how Robert thinks babies are made. The resolution to that subplot also seemed far to rushed, as if a few pages before the end the author suddenly remembered that she also needed to do something about it. I have no clue what that I was supposed to think about that part. Was it a comic relief plot? It wasn't funny. Was it a commentary on Victorian sex-morals? If yes what was the author trying to say with it? Because apart from 'men are stupid' I didn't get anything out of it.
After so much complaining I feel that I have to point out again that overall I enjoyed the book. As said, the mystery was better than in the first book and not as easy to see through.
Emily's character-development also continues to be interesting. She is still trying to figure out how far she is willing to go and what consequences of her actions she is willing to accept. In that aspect the series is one of the most realistic historical mysteries I know. The research that has been done for the book and the attention to detail is also amazing. But all that can't hide that I wasn't that overwhelmed by some parts of the book.