A Pressing Engagement
This novella is a lead up to the July release of the next installment in the author’s Lady Darby mystery series, As Death Draws Near. Fans of the series won’t want to miss A Pressing Engagement, as it provides a nice bridge between the last entry – when Kiera and Gage decided to speed up their wedding – and the next. In this installment we get to enjoy the events that occur the day before – and day of – the couple’s wedding. And of course, since it’s a mystery, there are numerous problems to solve.
A lot happens in relatively few pages and I like how the author places the time at the beginning of each section, giving the reader a feel for the timeline of events across these two days. On the day before Kiera’s wedding to Gage she’s going a bit mad. She’s unsettled, nervous, and is fed up with her sister’s endless pre-nuptial preparations. When her sister asks if Kiera has cold feet – heaven forbid – she assures her she doesn’t, and says she’s tired of the endless fittings of her gown.
An opportunity to leave her sister’s house and avoid further preparations comes in the form of a wedding gift of a torc. Kiera and Gage believe it may actually be the piece they’ve been hired to find by a rather odious client, and quickly head out of the house to investigate its origins. The search for information leads them to the pawnshop where the piece was purchased, but they learn nothing useful. On their way home, they run into the criminal – and rogue – Bonnie Brock Kincaid who calls in a favor Kiera owes him.
Kiera is told she needs to retrieve a journal from a writing desk at the home of a friend. Kincaid suspects it is his mother’s desk and that the long lost journal is hers. He thinks the journal will cheer up his sister who is still depressed from events that occurred in an earlier book.
A large part of my delight in this entry is seeing Kiera and Gage get married. I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with numerous other characters – from Kiera’s sister and her family to Gage’s odious father – introduced in previous books. There are some wonderful moments between Kiera and her sister toward the end, and Kiera’s interactions with Gage’s father are not to be missed. And then of course, there’s the third mystery of the missing ribbons.
Longtime fans of the series – who have been rooting for Kiera and Gage to get together – will be delighted to see them actually wed. For me this is a solid DIK, but I’ve been a fan of the series since the beginning. For those who haven’t been following it, I’m afraid this doesn’t work as a standalone, and may instead seem like too many characters thrown into the story in too few pages. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, don’t start here, go back and start with The Anatomist’s Wife and meet Gage and Kiera right from the beginning. But for fans looking forward to the next book, this should provide a brief respite from the wait.