Cover Image: Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose

Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose

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Member Reviews

Better and tighter story. Which is a good thing. The secondary characters are shown more, better defined. The historical hints are again well done. The whole Russian-British spies (Cambridge Five, etc) was a good narrative thread. The secret society within the secret society and harpy villainess had a bit too much Umbridge and Harry Potter for my taste, but that's knitpicking a bit. 

A solid second book. Looking forward the next one. 
3.5 stars
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I liked book 2 of this series even better than book 1.  The premise for this series is so unique and refreshing, and the character of Marion is someone you will just continue to root for.  Harry Potter meets steam punk if Hogwarts was a secret spy agency in London near the beginning of the Cold War.
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This one confused me. This is second volume in the series and I had NOT read the first one! I felt that there wasn't enough introductory explanation to ease a new reader into the series and it took me awhile to begin to understand something about the organization's culture and the various individuals and their relationships. Actually, this last issue plagued me throughout much of the story. So, I recommend that any potential readers might want to read the first volume and you may get a better grip on things.

The second problem I had acclimating to the novel was that it seemed choppy and simplistic and I, quite frankly, decided I was reading a young adult novel. (Not to say all YA is like that; it just seemed that must be the case).

But, I will admit, the story just rolled on and I began to get curious about what was going on, too. By the end I was so much less confused and was enjoying myself. Enough that I will go back and read volume one and then see if I want to continue with any subsequent additions to the series.

I do believe there is potential in this series, but I believe the author is not quite polished yet. There is a kernel of a fine ensemble of returning (?) characters here and the sense of found family is a popular theme. As some of the other Goodreads reviewers have mentioned, there are some plot holes and inconsistencies in the way the characters act and relate. And we need to get a better feel of what this group actually does in the outer world. This story gave a nod to some of that, but most of the story and action was in-house.

Potential and a quick read if you are in the mood for lighter fare.
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When I requested this book, I don't think I realized it was the second book in the series so I ended up reading the first one before this one. This book reads like a cozy historical mystery that's set in the 1959 about an underground detective agency that works behind the scenes to solve crimes that the police aren't able to. This book is light and a lot of fun to read... My only issue that the last book was more about internal politics and this one was too.. I would love to see Marion out and about more! Hoping that there is a next novel!
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I took a look at this prior to deciding whether or not to assign it for review. I did assign it and the favourable review by Meredith Frazier appeared last month:
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If you are looking for a good mystery novel full of spies and magical inventions, then this is the book for you! I will say, I did like the first book a bit better than this one, but Marion is a very likeable character and the plot did keep me interested throughout. I will be excited to see where the author takes Marion next!
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This is the second installment of this unique mystery series.  Miss Brickett’s Investigations and Inquiries is located underground in London, consisting of a group of highly intelligent, nerdy misfits fighting evil in 1959 London.  After a murder which takes place in Harrogate, the agency gets involved with finding the murderer.  Marion is trusted by the leaders of the group and as a result, faces many life and death situations.  The gadgets that are invented and depicted add a magical element to the series.  These are not superheroes with special powers, but fallible people who use their smarts to help solve mysteries and defeat evil.  Recommended.  Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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"Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose" by T. A. Wilberg is the second in the series.  In this story, Marion Lane is getting mysterious messages about new recruits not being what they seem.  She is also assigned to work on a case featuring "The Florist" who leaves a brand of a rose on people he kills.

I felt like the book tried to do too many things at once.  The gadgets were a focal part of the story, but not as intriguing as they should be.  Perhaps if I was more of a spy fan or knew more about the Cold War it would appeal to me.  It also featured division within the ranks and I feel like there is plenty of that in real life without reading about it.
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I didn't read the first book, but that was okay because the author did a great job of filling me in from the pervious book without weighing down the plot too much. I enjoyed a rookie showing her worth and playing dangerous spy games. Tho a mystery it has spy elements witch where fun. Good read.
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My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A wonderfully plotted mystery packed with spies, murderers, double-dealers, and one investigator looking into them all.

In MARION LANE AND THE DEADLY ROSE, Willberg keeps getting better. This second book in the series brings a new level to the intrigue, the complex relationships, and the oddities found at Miss Brickett’s. 

What I love so much about Marion Lane and the investigations she is thrust into is the balance she has to keep while she juggles the latest case, her relationships, and the new information being unearthed about Miss Brickett’s. The character continues to grow and develop both professionally as well as learn to be more open to her friends. It is truly wonderful to be along for the ride.

And let us not forget about the case at hand. This time around there is a killer in London branding his victims with a rose, but this is not the only mystery needing unraveling. Marion is warned about a possible traitor coming in as a new recruit which may lead her down a path questioning everything around her. While reading, it felt as though the author has upped the ante with this book. She effortlessly weaves together all the elements of this story to come together in an ending twist, turns, and big reveals. 

This series has quickly become a new favorite of mine. Not only do you get a carefully created historical mystery filled with lies, secrets, and espionage, but you get a layer of magic-infused into the tale that makes everything richer. Willberg cannot give me book three fast enough!
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The world of Miss Brickett's detective agency is a fascinating one. The sheer amount of detail that has gone into the agency and its underground establishment is incredible to me, and this, the second book in the series, was a very satisfying read. 
While this is an unusual twist on the detective story since the detectives are not only part of a private agency, but also a secret one, and most of the story takes place underground, the book is also unusual in its pacing. This is not a fast moving thriller but a steadier, more introspective take on the detective genre. This book doesn't just deal with the crime and figuring out who did it, but delves into the emotional fallout of the characters as they find themselves doing things they otherwise wouldn't in a effort to solve the case. 
At times the plot feels slow, but Marion Lane is an endearing character who keeps your interest even through the slow parts.
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I will begin by noting that I found this second Marion Lane novel to be an involving read and one that I very much enjoyed. Those who have not read the first in the series can plunge right in but should be aware that there are some spoilers relating back to Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder. (also reviewed on my blog and on NetGalley).

Those who have read the Harry Potter books may feel a kinship with Marion Lane’s Miss Brickett’s. Like Harry, Marion lacks family, is clever and, becomes part of something bigger than herself. At the same time, through her adventures, Marion finds others more like her, a sense of belonging and the future that she wants.

There is a lot going on here. There is a murder, a very bad man known as the florist, threats to national security, most likely a traitor at Miss Brickett’s, new recruits and much more. The pages turn easily as the story unfolds and readers spend time with Marion, Bill, Marion’s American spy friend and new people including the interesting, note taking, new recruit Ambrosia.

Those who enjoy their mysteries with a bit of something magical will want to read this one and the series. It is a fun read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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If you want to read a story about spies working against other spies and also feel like you’re watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, this is your book. I liked this one even more than the first one. The mystery was more cohesive and I felt like I was kept on my toes. And Marion is just such an awesome main character.
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I really enjoyed the first title in this series, but was somewhat disappointed in this book. Even after one buys the premise of magical inventions and an underground detective agency featuring teenagers, some parts of the plot strain credulity. The Russians hijacking the agency’s inventions, execution style murders, and the survival of the agency resting on one teenagers shoulders while the administrators “wait and see” was a bit much.
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Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose is the second book in the Marion Lane series by T.A. Willberg. A thrilling mystery that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seat until the very end, with unexpected twists and turns lurking around every page turn. It is jam-packed full of mystery, intrigue and murder! I can't wait to read more in the Marion Lane series.
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Ok, now I need to go back and read the first book in this series.  If this were set anywhere but London, the idea of this massive organization essentially living underground and being tasked with investigating crimes would seem ludicrous.  But, well, we're used to London being half underground and all the mysteries there so... not so unbelievable.  Marion and her friends/colleagues are an odd bunch and I want get to know them and how Miss Brickett's works.  It sounds so prim for the things they get up to, and the gadgets?  the touch of the Bletchley Circle and Cold War and all that?  A fun read.

eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.
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I have really enjoyed the Marion Lane mysteries! In this sequel to Marion Lane and the Midnight Murders, Marion is in her second year of apprenticeship with Miss Brickett's. She receives a mysterious message, telling her to be wary of one of the new recruits (but not which one). She is tasked with giving them a tour and helping them acclimate to the agency, while continuing to learn herself and continue on the path to becoming an Inquirer. 

A new group is formed at Miss Brickett's, ostensibly to improve communications between the staff and the administration, and to support staff rights, but in reality, the group seems to be sowing discontent and distrust. Items are disappearing from the gadgets lab, more notes appear in Marion's room, and there's a cold-blooded killer named the Florist above ground that the agency is trying to stop.

If you like historical mysteries with strong female characters and insanely cool gadgets, the Marion Lane mysteries are for you!

Thanks to Netgalley for the advance reader's copy!
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I was so excited to see that there would be a second Marion Lane book. The world-building of Mrs. Brickett's in Willberg's first novel sucked me in and I couldn't wait to get back there with Marion. Unfortunately, the second book is missing all the things I liked about the first book and seems to have only the things I hadn't liked. The deep descriptions of the underground world seemed either completely missing or barely touched upon. The character development felt nearly nonexistent and the plot was somehow simultaneously beyond belief but also obvious and far too convenient. This one was a serious miss for me.
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Marion Lane is only just recovering from the events of the first story when there is a mysterious death caused by an assassin known only as The Florist. But there are also new inquirers coming to Miss Brickett's and someone has slipped Marion a note that one of them is not what they seem. This is on top of the fact that there are mysterious flyers being distributed around the company and a secret subgroup that is intent on changing the way Miss Brickett's fundamentally works. Unfortunately, one of Marion's cohort will not be alive by the end of the book.

Three stars
This book comes out February 1st, 2022
Follows Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder
ARC kindly provided by Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
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I love the premise of these mysteries, and I enjoyed learning more back story about the main characters in this installment. Overall, I think it is a really different read for people who enjoy historical mysteries, or stories with espionage. I will definitely suggest it to readers who enjoy series like Maisie Dobbs and are looking for something fresh and new.
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