Lord John and the Hellfire Club (0.5) – from Goodreads: “Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen’s club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society.” This is a good short story to enter the world of Lord John but was a little strange. We are introduced to several characters who will play important roles in the series (Harry Quarry, Lady Lucinda Joffrey, etc.) and start to learn more about John’s home and life outside the Outlander world (specifically Jamie.)
Lord John and the Succubus (1.5) – “English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart.” This novella was much more in the style that I’ve come to expect from Diana Gabaldon. It was probably my favorite of these stories as it mixed history, the supernatural and personal relationships. I especially enjoyed meeting Stephan and seeing more of Tom Byrd, John’s valet.
Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (2.5) – “Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to testify and soon confronts his own ghost—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty’s armed forces.” I enjoyed this installment even more than expected. Most of it covers military and political power plays. We see Lord John lose his cool a little at a military hearing (LIKE!) and we meet one of John’s half brothers, Edgar.
Overall, I would consider these must-reads for fans of the Lord John series. 4/5 stars.