The second adventure of the Viper and the Urchin finds these two disparate characters relocated to the warehouse of Cruikshank, engineer to the Marchioness, no longer an assassin and a pickpocket, but officially employed by the Old Girl, as the Marchioness is affectionately called. But their services have not been required and they are feeling aimless and redundant when at last they are summoned to investigate a mysterious death by exsanguination in the insalubrious Bayog district of the city of Damsport.
Rory’s knowledge of the criminal underworld of the Rookery make her indispensable but Longinus occupies his time investigating the unexplained shortage of the black silk he needs urgently for his new elegant suit. A link between these two events is discovered in The Black Orchid, a newly popular brothel. Rory and Longinus find themselves in great danger again, not just from their enemy but also from threats to their relationship. As they become estranged, the future looks grim.
Like the first book, The Black Orchid engages readers by the strong, vibrant women who never give up against all odds. An old relationship between the Marchioness and stunningly beautiful Mizria may be reawakened, Rory seems to be becoming closer to Varanguard, Rafe and Longinus continues to send anonymous poems to Lady Martha, daughter of the Old Girl.
Celine Jeanjean has written another thrilling adventure which is hard to put down. The grubby streets of the city come alive in the fast moving plot and each character has substance and complication. Alchemy and steam driven vehicles play their part but heroism shines. In conclusion the scene is set for further adventure involving characters who have come to mean a great deal to their readers.