I was really hoping we'd get more answers about Toby and her past, and see her resolve some of her current issues. But her daughter and former fiance are barely mentioned; neither are the events surrounding the disappearance and return of her liege lord's wife and daughter. All we get instead is a really obvious murder mystery.
If Toby is as good at her job as a PI as she says she is, how is it that I solved her mystery (at least the whodunit part) within the first 100 pages? Sure, I didn't see the why coming, but that's because it's not somewhere that I was expecting the story to go, which is a very good thing. The rest of it, from the Countess' adopted daughter, to the potential love interest Alex...I kind of saw that coming from a mile off. I think Seanan McGuire does a good job of world-building and setting up a compelling back story for her heroine, but she just isn't able to pull it all together. It might just be that she's dragging out the overarching storyline over a few books, but I think the slow reveal is actually working against her. Most of this book was about Toby running around two buildings looking for a killer among a very limited number of suspects and going nowhere. There was too much over-explanation and she kept getting hurt, something I noticed in the previous book too. I think the author should take a step back and work on giving us some answers rather than giving us a pretty mediocre murder mystery. I have a feeling she can do better, so I'm looking forward grudgingly to her next book in this series.