I can't get enough of the Lady Emily series! And I only have 1 book to go to be caught up and breathlessly waiting the next book... oh, how I hate that!Although I must say that I found myself peeved at Lady Emily several times in this book -- yes, peeved. She's been through a lot in a short time, no doubt. And having Sebastian show up again, plus the body she found so horridly murdered, plus the mystery of the ghost-girl (or is she real?) who seems to be haunting Emily... Yes, I can see why Emily is emotional. Oh yes, she's recovering at her mother-in-law's, who doesn't seem to like Lady Emily in the least.But Emily seemed to revert to her petulant, spoiled self too many times. I think she actually stamped her foot a time or two! And the battle between Colin and Emily about her part in investigations, et al, is wearing thin. Too overdone in too many books with similar storylines, such as the Lady Julia Grey books.Colin showed himself to no longer be the perfect knight-in-shining armor. I was a bit disappointed in him, too, although I suppose it's high time that we learn he's not perfect, as Emily did. I fully understand his concerns for Emily's safety and his guilt for feeling as if he's responsible for her injury and miscarriage in Tears of Pearl. I understand he's walking a fine line between giving Emily her freedom and independence and keeping her protected. So what's my beef?My biggest beef was his flirtation with Toinette. Colin is a handsome man, and he's not dead. And yes, we've witnessed him flirting before. But never with an eligible girl/woman who is obviously taken with him. Toinette is 16 years old, and devious and selfish enough to gladly cause a scandal. Colin knew better, but he was "diverted" by Toinette and thought her harmless. Yeah, sure. In a way, I felt like Colin was trying to get back at Emily for Sebastian's attentions; except that Emily clearly and publicly spurns Sebastian over and over again, making it clear she's not interested.Perhaps all that's happened is supposed to be taking a toll on Colin, too, because he missed some devastatingly large clues from the beginning -- especially the skill necessary to emulate the Ripper. Yes, Emily missed it, too, but we expect her to not pick up on that until near the end.In a way, this villain and the actions he took were muddled and buried in the hideous story of the Prier family. *shudder* Too much time lost with them. The whole family made my skin crawl. It was almost as if Ms. Alexander couldn't make up her mind whom the villain should be, or got lost in the red herring trail she usually puts down so delightfully.No, this was a dark book... an emotional book... and while I did enjoy the story and I do think that much of the journey for Emily (and Colin) was necessary, there was too much noise and not enough story. Which is why I have to give the book a 3-rating and not my usual 4-star rating.