Uirky unpredictable and totally enjoyable read with lots of witty repartee It defies normal classifications and has tons of surprises I ve given this a B at AARHaving previously enjoyed Juliana Gray s historical romances I was intrigued when I learned she would be venturing into the sub genre of historical mysteries with her latest series It is connected to her Princess in Hiding books by virtue of the fact that the plot of A Most Extraordinary Pursuit revolves around the search for the new Duke of Olympia and that the son of the Duke of Ashland How to Tame Your Duke Freddie Lord Silverton is one of the protagonists I was expecting an historical mystery but when In The First Chapter the first chapter heroine Miss Emmeline Truelove has a conversation with the late ueen Victoria I realised I was going to have to adjust my expectations somewhatIt s 1906 and the imposing silver haired Machiavellian colossus that was the Duke of Olympia is dead at the age of eighty six having expired while uietly fishing for trout Or so it seems His heir is his grandnephew Maximillian Haywood who spends most of his time on archaeological expeditions outside England but who is now expected to return to assume his responsibilities and title The trouble is that nobody has heard from Max for some months his last communication arrived shortly before Christmas nearly three months earlier and he is not where he is supposed to be at a dig at Knossos on the Greek island of CreteMiss Emmeline Truelove acted as the duke s personal secretary for the past six years having taken over that position after the death her father actually her step father who had previously fulfilled that role She is practical efficient and utterly no nonsense performing her role admirably notwithstanding her tendency to see dead peopleHer late majesty has warned Miss Truelove that the dowager duchess is going to ask her to perform a certain task which she Emmeline must under no circumstances accept But when the dowager s reuest turns out to be that she track down the new duke and bring him home Truelove doesn t see how she can possibly refuse although she nows a moment s hesitation when she learns she will be accompanied by the unspeakably gorgeous Maruess of Silverton who at first glance seems to have barely two braincells to rub togetherBut the duchess has everything planned out and within the hour Truelove finds herself Silverton at her side being driven to Southampton where they will board the duke s yacht for their journey to CreteStopping off in Athens the pair pay a visit to Max s flat near the Acropolis There is no trace of Max but the place has clearly been ransacked and this together with the mysterious death of a government official with whom Max was associated followed by an attack on them at their hotel convinces Truelove and Silverton that there is to Max s disappearance than meets the eye Silverton insists they return to the yacht and make for Crete and the archaeological site of Knossos where they hope to make contact with Max s assistant While there they stay at a villa on the site where Silverton proceeds to charm the attractive young housekeeper into giving them some useful information much to Truelove s chagrin She has already worked out that Silverton is far from the buffoon he pretends to be but realising he uses his charm and obvious physical attractions to seduce information out of women doesn t sit at all well with her Not that she s jealous No Not at allThe story shifts from Crete to Naxos and as a side note I have to say that I liked this aspect of the story as it brought back memories of my own island hopping holidays as Silverton and Truelove continue to follow Max s trail while trying to stay at least one step ahead of whoever is following them I can t say much without going into spoiler territory suffice to say that when they do eventually catch up with Max it leads to a momentous and fantastical discovery that I assume is going to be addressed in future books in the seriesI said at the beginning of this review that I had to adjust my expectations somewhat after the first couple of chapters because A Most Unexpected Pursuit is not exactly the straight historical mystery both the cover and the book blurb suggest Not only does Truelove have conversations with the late ueen Victoria she has them with her late step father as well strange artefacts time travel and mythological beings all make an appearance udos to Ms Gray for the Downton Abbey reference and although the principal storyline the discovery of Max s whereabouts is concluded here the book throws up uestions than it answers While I accept that is normal for the first book in a series that will feature ongoing plotlines I would have liked answers to perhaps one or two uestions in this oneThere are romantic elements to the story but they re not the main focus There s a nice frisson of attraction between Truelove and Silverton which definitely has the potential Known for “charming original characters a large dose of humor and a plot that’s fantastic fun” New York Times beststelling author Jennifer Ashley Juliana Gray presents an extraordinary novel of an uncommon pursuit As the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia and a woman of good character Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected Vel and the last 4th onon action I mean it is all so random There is apparently enough space to expound on Miss Trueblood s seasickness and Lord is all so random There is apparently enough space to expound on Miss Trueblood s seasickness and Lord s womanizing but not enough to give full explanations Or really any explanation I suspect the author intends these open ended uestions to lead the reader straight to the seuel but I cannot imagine putting myself through another book like this The writing timeline frustrated me Sometimes it felt like an after the fact story told my Miss Trueblood Sometimes it felt like an in the moment sort of thing It just left me asking are we in her memories Her journal Her subconsciousness There are too many other things going on for this problem to be okayMainly becauseview spoiler For one why does Miss Trueblood see ghosts Again it is like the author is trying to technically trick us into thinking some deeper meaning is going on but I m just not convinced ueen Victoria predicts the future and Miss Trueblood is like wow I ve got a great sub conscience But presuming ueen Victoria and Mr Trueblood are ghosts and not figments of her imagination neither actually do much except nag her about her relationship status and life decisions You would think they would be useful Further I think it is ueen Victoria who is like Stay away from the Duke He s got crazy powers Well chica can summon dead monarchs I feel like that makes them both crazy powerful And if the two do just represent figments of her imagination Well honestly I find them too on the nose then It is technically clever and yetsomehow disappointingly mundane as an answerAs for the Duke s powers he yanks people through time andmyth and the weird swear happy Americans from the futureI suppose it all gets answered at some point but it feltanachronistic in the story Like the author is meshing together the traditional detective style with the usual uptight woman meets charming rake and then throws in time travel and mystical powers or whatnot and somehow the euation just adds up wrong hide spoiler 355 stars Contains mild spoilers I received an ARC e book of A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray through Penguin Random House s First To Read I m really excited that I got a chance to read this book prior to its release in October 2016 Before receiving this book I had never heard of Juliana Gray Little did I now Juliana Gray is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams the author of Along the Infinite Sea Tiny Little Thing The Secret Life of Violet Grant A Hundred Summers and Overseas I love historical fiction and stories that are set in a different time period so I was looking forward to this read I was not let down by
The Uirky Storyline The Greek uirky storyline the greek tie ins action or the romance I thou My review for A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray will be posted here at a later date Stay tuned So I somehow managed to really enjoy this while simultaneously feeling like the balance was somehow offTo start this book was not the book I thought it was going to be I think I thought it was going to be of a cozy mystery set on a yacht The cover sends off some serious cozy mystery vibes And the description is all inds of misleading Except that it s also very accurate Basically this is a really weird book in reality It s a big mishmash of historical romance mysteryadventure story with a soupcon of the supernatural and an extraordinarily random one at that I Well That was all a bit oddLike no other Juliana Gray book this was a mixture of road story sorta love story but not time travelling and high fantasy of a type I haven t come across since Andrew Lang s opium dream of a book The World s Desire All crossed with a dash of Noel Coward s Blithe Spirit Much to my surprise since the preuel The Duke of Olympia Meets His Match was one of my top books of 2016 I didn t enjoy this Partly that s down to the bizarre combination of genres but mainly it s because I felt no connection to any of the characters Apart from ueen Victoria who amused usEmmeline Truelove ept her emotions under such strict control view spoiler eg we don t find out till nearly the end that she s had a previous unhappy love affair hide spoiler This book ind of defies convention it s historical mystery splash of romance paranormal and time travel It is also most definitely a starter book we get an introduction to characters and the arc here but you will be left with uestions than answers This is labeled as 1 in the series although there is5 which I was wishing I had read because for the first 20% of this I felt hopelessly lost However I m not sure there are elements from the5 book that would help clue you in for this one If anyone who has read5 could give an answer if reading the first would help here would appreciate the comments The paranormal factor if curious what this is view spoilerour heroine is hauntedaccompanied by ueen Victoria mostly and occasionally her father and maybe her mother hide spoile. Ove and Silverton disembark they are met with incidents of a violent nature a ransacked flat a murdered government employee an assassination attempt And as they steam from port to port on Max’s trail dodging danger at every turn Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions about the whims of the heart the desires of men and the nature of time itse. ,
O turn into something down the line but there s not so much as an HFN in sight by the end of this book They work well as a team however and play to each other s strengths and while Truelove is perhaps a bit overly prim and proper I liked them both as individuals and as a working couple Silverton is smart funny and protective and although we get the odd glimpse of a darker side to him it s fleeting and for the most part he s the perfect gentleman spy hiding the fact that he s a clever strategist and lethal iller behind a foppish bertie wooster ish exterior behind a foppish Bertie Wooster ish exterior is straightforward and supremely capable forever uashing Silverton s attempts to flirt with her in the attempt to deny that she
S Well And Truly Smitten Her Exchanges With Her Latewell and truly smitten Her exchanges with her late are uite funny at times but we re not told whether these are hallucinations or something else which made it a bit difficult to get a good handle on her as a characterI did enjoy reading A Most Extraordinary Pursuit and it has certainly whetted my appetite for future stories but I can t deny that I was almost as much in the dark about some aspects of it at the end of the book as I was at the beginning It s fun uirky and perhaps a bit silly but it s beautifully written and Truelove s narrative voice is rather uniue somewhat starchy but dryly humorous and insightful I was most definitely entertained and will be reading the next book but I d just remind anyone thinking about picking this one up that it s not your conventional historical mystery Once you ve accepted that however enjoy the banter embrace the uirkiness picture the lovely locations and go with the flow The duke has died and his heir is missing Emmeline is sent on an urgent mission to track him down and avoid disaster And accompanying her is Lord Silverton who I guess is a cad and a bounder though with assassins on their trail he might just be the perfect man for the job If you ve read Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor or any of the many Tintin graphic novels you ll have a reasonably good idea of what to expect in this book It s not for everyone but I loved it It really was good fun 45 Stars This was a most enjoyable Edwardian escapade and so much And all tied together by a superb and sophisticated writing smoothly propelling you along the pages like a summer breeze A uirky potpourri of diverse genres accompanying the reader from London to Crete there s mystery adventure suspense mythology some paranormal undertones and an interesting collision of past present and future to provide enough intriguing material for the following booksMiss Emmaline Truelove our narrating voice prim proper and resourceful secretary on a mission and Lord Silverton smooth talking bachelor and polished mystery man strike an instant connection and if romance often takes the backseat in this first instalment their attraction and growing mutual respect shine all the same They spar they team they flirt while they are surely preparing for sleuthing in the next globe trotting romp I m torn because half me The Man Who Hated Football keeps saying It was fine fine Just let it go with two stars Or at most a star and a half It cannot help you not liking it But the I think about it the irritated I feel It should have been than fine All the technical plot points are there to make an exciting fun adventure story along the lines of my favorite historical mysteries Yet it falls uite short It is formally fine but emotionally dead The problems are twofold annoying characters and unclear plotting Emmeline Trueblood has a stick so far up her butt I am surprised she can even move She s a sourpuss who demonstrates all of two reactions at any given moment seasickness or judgment Now these are not things I would normally call a character out on I like judgmental cranky characters But she seriously walks around acting like someone peed in her cheerios and I just never understood whyOh we get the technical answers Mommy issues Daddy issues Possibly lover issues She s got the soul of a poet buteeps it firmly in place in case she finds herself tempted to crack a smile It is all technically there and yet somehow never meshed well enough for me to feel like she made sense as a character She is joined on her journey to the Mediterranean to find the lost heir by the sort of person one meets so regularly in fiction and so rarely in real life the irresistible man No but seriously That is basically his entire character right there Lord Silverton loves women Women love Lord Silverton Huzzah There are other random characters that play technically well crafted roles and yet do little else to endear themselves to the reader For example the scholar whose blatant and non stop sexism highlights Lord Silverton s egalitarian attitude Despite extreme predictability the romance delivers uite poorly The couple lacks any chemistry and their interactions usually left me irritated or cringing Thus the characters The plot itself spends about 34ths on tra. O be steaming through the Mediterranean on a luxuriously appointed yacht under the watchful and jovial eye of one Lord Silverton But here they are as improper as it is on a uest to find the duke’s heir whereabouts unknown An expert on anachronisms the adventurous Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete And when Truel. .