Point of Honour

Point of Honour - Madeleine E. Robins Good thing the jacket cover gives a summary of who Sarah Tolerance is before we start the book... that's my only nit with this book, that it plunges us in without much background about our main character. We get hints and clues, but there's much "assumed" and much revealed only slowly, over the course of the story. WHY Sarah took the surname of "Tolerance", and WHY she is considered "Fallen"... WHY Sarah dresses in mens/boys clothing, and WHY she is an "inquiry agent". These are all things that should be addressed in some form or fashion much sooner in the story than they are. I understand the fuller reveal should come as the story unfolds, but readers need context!However, that being said, this intriguing tale draws you right in. The mystery of the missing fan... where is it now? Why is it so important? How could a fan possibly contain a secret big enough to take down an earl of the realm, even if he is the leader of a political party? Earls were allowed indiscretions, and his father was known for them; so what about a fan could possibly be so dangerous - enough to kill for? At first, Sarah is determined only to locate the fan to fulfill her commission. But when an old lady and her good friend Matt are killed because of Sarah's pursuit, Sarah begins to wonder about the mystery behind the fan.A full cast of characters provides a good look into Regency England - it's mores and attitudes. While the history is incorrect (Queen Charlotte was never the Regent for King George), the basics behind the story, including the social values and attitudes are right on.It's interesting that the author provides a love interest for Sarah, especially since he's an earl and she's Fallen. One wonders how the romance could possibly be resolved? But the author finds a way... a very safe, predictable way. Along the journey, however, the author throws in a variety of bad guys with so many different possible motives, it soon becomes difficult to pick out who is truly "bad" and what the motive is behind the actions. Politics is the main theme, but Sarah discovers that politicians aren't the only ones who claim to do what they do "for the good" of others or society. Isn't the central goal of every human being to do what's good in his or her own eyes? What's best for one's own self and survival?My ONLY other "nit" would be that the narrative constantly uses Miss Tolerance rather than Sarah to refer to our main character. Since the book is pretty much from her point-of-view, I don't quite understand the distinction. WE know she's Sarah; SHE knows she's Sarah. WE understand that society at large would refer to her as Miss Tolerance. So why must the narrative?