cover image The Gentleman’s Gambit

The Gentleman’s Gambit

Evie Dunmore. Berkley, $17 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-593-33466-9

Dunmore gives her Victorian-era League of Extraordinary Women series a worthy finale (after Portrait of a Scotsman), this time turning the focus on budding author Catriona Campbell, the timid but opinionated daughter of a Scottish earl turned Oxford professor. Catriona is suffering writer’s block at Applecross, her father’s crumbling Scottish estate, when her father, stuck in Scotland on business, tasks her with accompanying his handsome colleague, Elias Khoury, to Oxford to catalogue ancient artifacts. There’s just one problem: Elias doesn’t actually plan on cataloguing the artifacts—he wants to reclaim and return them to his native Beirut. When Catriona learns of the scheme, she’s in total agreement with Elias’s goals and even offers to help—so long as it does not take time away from her and her suffragist friends’ plans to persuade members of Parliament to their way of thinking. This subplot offers a welcome chance to check in with the series’ previous leads as, all the while, Catriona and Elias inevitably grow closer. Catriona is wary of love, but Elias is determined to convince her of his sincerity. The protagonists are as sharp and forward thinking as series fans will expect, and there’s plenty of sensuality to keep the pages turning. It’s a top-notch series ender. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Dec.)