Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce by Jillian Stone (e-novella)


Click here to buy the book on Amazon

Archibald Bruce is the young director of Scotland Yard's new Crime Laboratory and, most recently, the new professor at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It's another job for Archie and one he intended to do with the same objective, scientific way he approaches everything else -- until the first day on his new job happens and one of his students happens to be a girl from his past.

Fiona Rose was a young student at the University of Edinburgh when she first met and fell for Archie Bruce. They shared one (what they thought) anonymous kiss before Fiona left and Archie went on the graduate -- but it was a kiss that left quite an impression on both of them.

Does she remember? Does he remember? There's a playfulness in the way Jillian Stone narrates Archie and Fiona's love story. What I liked about this is that, even if they had never met before, Archie and Fiona are so clearly compatible right from the get-go: he's the science guy and she's the daughter of a chemist who is studying to be one as well. I love that their chemistry isn't only physical but also intellectual -- they reminded me of Hodge and Simms from CSI. ^_^

This wouldn't be a Jillian Stone story if it didn't include some action and mystery and the author presents us with a continuation of the dynamiters story arc from her debut novel, An Affair with Mr. Kennedy. Phineas Gunn is featured here, in pursuit of Grey de Ruthyn -- but Archie also has his own personal mystery to solve: who blew up his lab? And why?

The love story was done very well and the action aspect was also excellent but, my absolute favorite part of the story was the food. Jillian Stone's mention of actual places like Fortnum and Mason just added to the synesthetic pleasure of reading this book.

"Lake & Turner's," Fiona offered. "They serve the most wonderful brine-steamed mussels. And my favorite -- a spicy fish chowder. We can purchase a pail of stout, and a loaf or two of crusty bread." She must have appeared rather bright-eyed about the idea, because she caught a look from Archie that nearly took her breath away. It was the kind of look that made her feel ... desired.
- Chapter 9

A reader knows when a novella is successful because: (a) it leaves you satisfied and (b) has you wanting more. It's a strange set of conditions but this one fulfills both. (After just the first chapter, I went ahead and got A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. Jillian Stone is that good. ^_^)

A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce is Book 2.5 in Jillian Stone's Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. To find out more about Jillian Stone and her books, click below:
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