Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Queen Of Diamonds by Patricia Loufbourrow

The Queen Of Diamonds by Patricia Loufbourrow
Published in America by Red Dog Press in September 2016.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from
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How I got this book:
Received a copy for signing up to the author's

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kidnapping. Murder. Betrayal. While the villain Frank Pagliacci is defeated, all is not well in Bridges. Tensions rise between the Families, who accuse each other of spying, while Red Dog attacks escalate. Aristocratic jewel merchant Anastasia Dame Louis, styling herself "The Queen of Diamonds," hires private eye Jacqueline Spadros to collect from her debtors so she can leave the city. But Jacqui can't leave David Bryce's kidnapping and the murders of her teenage informants unpunished. Convinced the madman "Black Jack" Diamond was behind the crimes, she pursues ways to prove it. The scoundrel and his crew, however, seem to be one step ahead: the terrifying man in white is seen lurking outside David's home, forged letters appear across the city, and merchants in the Spadros quadrant report threats from a man who fits his description.
Jack's sister Gardena Diamond then asks Jacqui for help: someone is attempting to blackmail her. It is then that Jacqui learns Rachel Diamond's curious secret - and the truth behind her terrible condition. When witnesses who can identify the kidnappers begin dying and evidence emerges that Jacqui's mother is next on the list, Jacqui is forced to make a dreadful choice. Someone will surely die. Will it be Jacqui, or her mother?

Having enjoyed Loufbourrow's worldbuilding in the first of her Red Dog Conspiracy series, The Jacq Of Spades, I was keen to move on into this second volume, The Queen Of Diamonds. A busy book with lots of tangled intrigues, The Queen Of Diamonds is intended to be read after The Jacq of Spades, but Loufbourrow includes frequent recaps so readers probably could manage the books out of order. I was disappointed that the main plot isn't really advanced and most of my time seemed to be spent watching Jacqui being served tea, endlessly changing her dresses and politely enquiring after other people's health. There are exciting moments, but these are frequently mired in excessive backstory information so tension is muted by a lack of pace. I struggled to remember who was who in the large cast as few have distinctive voices. Even the eponymous Queen is more of a cameo role than a fully fleshed out woman. We are told about her interesting life, but aren't shown it in her character. If the Red Dog Conspiracy was a trilogy, I would probably get the third book just to see how it all pans out, but the thought of ploughing through another eleven volumes to get to that point is too overwhelming!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Patricia Loufbourrow / Steampunk / Books from America

1 comment:

  1. Patricia Loufbourrow's third Red Dog Conspiracy novel is available for pre-order!
    As a special offer to celebrate, all three are just 99c until March 5th through the URLs below:
    The Jacq Of Spades
    The Queen Of Diamonds
    The Ace Of Clubs