I loved Darker Still when I read it last year and had pre-ordered The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart months ago because I couldn't wait to read it. Anyone who loves dark and Gothic historical tales with a hint of the paranormal and a strong heroine will absolutely love this series but I would highly recommend reading the books in order so you don't miss out on the ongoing adventure. I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review has already read the first book so be warned that there will be spoilers for Darker Still so this is your last chance to look away if you're new to the series!
The story picks up immediately after the ending of the first book, Natalie has managed to free Jonathan from the painting he was trapped inside and she regained the use of her voice in the process. They were able to trap the demon who was using Jonathan's body but his description is still being circulated with regards to the recent spate of murders in New York. Natalie and Jonathan have been forced to flee the city to protect themselves but it soon becomes clear that the plot against Jonathan goes even deeper than they realised. To get to the bottom of the mystery Jonathan is going to have to return to London and pretend that the demon is still in control of his body. While Jonathan is away it is up to Natalie to work out what is happening in New York, her friends are in danger and she is going to have to figure things out quickly if she is going to have a chance at stopping what is happening.
One of the things I loved so much about the first book was the Gothic feel to the story and the setting of Victorian New York. I read so many Victorian era novels set in London that it makes a nice change to visit a different city during this time period and Leanna Renee Hieber does a wonderful job of bringing New York to life. She has also done a brilliant job of creating three dimensional characters who continue to grow with each instalment to the series. I loved the fact that Natalie was the one to rescue Jonathan in the first book and although he is now able to work alongside her to continue their investigation he still trusts her to play her part while he is off in London doing his. Natalie has become even stronger since the first book, she is still terrified by some of the things that she sees and experiences but that doesn't stop her from facing those fears and pushing through them. She cares so deeply for Jonathan and the people who are effected by the latest events that she will do whatever it takes to put a stop to things. It was nice to see that Jonathan has a larger role to play this time around but I'm glad he didn't completely take over from Natalie and he was willing to trust her judgement.
I felt that The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart was an even darker story than the first book, particularly with the discovery made towards the end of the book. While Darker Still was a tribute to The Picture of Dorian Gray this one gives a nod to another well known Gothic thriller that I guarantee you will recognise (I can't say which one here because of spoilers). I love the way Leanna Renee Hieber has taken well known stories and incorporated them into her own books after putting a different spin on things. For fans of Darker Still this book is a must read and I can't wait to read the next instalment to the Magic Most Foul series.