Lord Perfect is the third of The Carsington Family novels, and the one that immediately follows Mr. Impossible. Benedict is the eldest of the brothers, the heir to the title, and the one who has always done everything right. Even society refers to him as Lord Perfect. He is widowed, and while his in-laws are on the dramatic side, he has kept up the relationship because of his nephew by marriage, 13-year-old Peregrine, whom he is has taken under his wing. Peregrine has had issues with previous tutors and at school, but it is not because he is a natural troublemaker – he is very logical and asks why too often for schools of the time to not think of him as trouble.
Bathsheba is also widowed but she has never been seen as perfect. She is part of an infamous family branch of the DeLuceys, all known as cheats, gamblers and con men. While Bathsheba did not inherit these family traits and is actually responsible, her deceased husband’s family still disinherited him when he told them of his intentions to marry a DeLucey. Now Bathsheba has a 12-year-old daughter who is strong willed, dramatic and has inherited too many of the DeLucey family traits. Bathsheba desperately needs to find more income so she can move to a better neighborhood and remove Olivia from some of the influences they are currently surrounded by.
Benedict and Bathsheba are an unlikely match. After all, Benedict has already had one appropriate marriage, and will follow it up with another rank appropriate marriage in time. Still, when he meets her at the museum while exploring the Egyptian section with Peregrine, he is fascinated by her beauty. When Peregrine realizes that he needs drawing lessons (Olivia is not a gentle critic) to pursue his career aspirations, Bathsheba is the first to come to mind, and as a result, the two adults keep interacting.
However, it is only once the two children run off on a quest that the two are forced into long proximity with each other. Olivia wants to find a buried family treasure to help her mother, and Peregrine sees no option but to go along with Olivia for her protection, and hope his uncle tracks them down.
This was another fun Chase novel. Benedict and Bathsheba play off each other well since both want to do the right thing and are very much aware of how society might react while still being drawn to each other. Precocious children can always be difficult to write in a likable manner but I enjoyed Peregrine and Olivia, and my favorite recent hero, Rupert from Mr. Impossible, shows up in a few scenes, getting more than just a passing mention. In other words, she knows how to please her readers! I also enjoy the exacting family patriarch and his behind the scenes scheming to marry of his sons in all these novels, and the overall family dynamics in these novels!