This is a nicely written historical murder mystery, set at St. Bride’s College in England in 1905, so right smack dab in the Edwardian period. A lot of reviews refer to it as “gentle” and that is a good term, especially for the quiet romance which is between exuberant and experienced Jonty and innocent and closed-up Orlando, but I would more aptly use the term of “slow” and “leisurely”. It is a very slow, leisurely read, and one that is remarkably low on tension, even as more murders pop up.
I think it’s partly due to the writing style, and props to Cochrane. It feels like this book was honestly written in 1905. It mirrors an older style so successfully, it’s pretty amazing. But it also felt very slow, and I had to realllly push through to finish.
I normally love historical mystery romances, especially the m/m variety, but I think the style of this series is too gentle for me. It reminded me of a less exciting Masterpiece Mystery, and actually, this series probably could work great for that show (and I would probably watch it, just to see the lush sets, the costumes, and the subtle touches as Orlando and Jonty try to express their feelings, even as they hide their illegal affair from others.)
If you love historicals, this may be up your alley, although know it is a very leisurely, quiet, and mild trip back in time.