A Most Peculiar Circumstance is a sequel to A Change of Fortune, the second in the Ladies of Distinction series, picking up with the rescue of Hamilton Beckett's wandering, adventurous sister, Arabella Beckett, who has found herself in jail after taking a detour from her speaking engagements to save a stranger's daughter from being sold into prostitution. Predictably, the people she encounters during the rescue do not take kindly to their merchandise being stolen, nor to being shot by a woman, and so danger continues to follow her home. Theodore Wilder, the private investigator sent to find Miss Beckett, finds himself in the position of continuing to protect this woman who both intrigues and enrages him. While Arabella's eyes are being opened to the discord between her privileged, rich, life and the lives of the women she has encountered during her latest escapades, she has to search within herself to see whether she's trying to serve others or serve herself and her own causes.
I was very excited to read this book, since I loved Ms. Turano's first novel, and I wasn't disappointed. Her characters are strong, deep, and humorous. I absolutely loved the friendships that developed between Arabella, her sister-in-law Eliza (from Book 1), and Agatha (also from Book 1), and the addition of Theodore's sister Katherine. They were funny and strong, yet never too independent to seek guidance from God, or to accept help from others. Arabella was able to promote the cause of women's right to vote, yet realize that she may have not been altogether altruistic. She says "I've been so smug in my belief that God specifically chose me to change the lives of women, when in actuality it seems I'm the one whose life needs to change." And change she does. I love watching her growth through the book, even through her "peculiar circumstance[s]."
This book was also really well tied to the first novel, with a brief yet effective synopsis delivered via other characters filling in Arabella on what she missed while she was traveling. I'm especially excited now to read book 3, looking forward to more of this writing style and continuing to enjoy the characters I've already come to love.
I give this book 4 stars. Ms. Turano is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
You can find the author's website HERE.
I received a copy of this e-book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.