Reading the first Lady Emily book I of course adored the characters but it wasn't just that. I was also amazed by the attention to detail about life in the Victorian times and the amount of research that has clearly gone into it.
Which makes it even more disappointing that the author didn't bother with some bits. Definitely not with the random German bits. Dear authors, repeat after me: Google Translate is not a good source for foreign languages you have no clue about. Either try and find somebody who speaks the language or just leave it. Because in 9/10 cases you can just get away with 'said X in foreign language. That was also true for this book (and the 10th case was Wiener Zeitung which can be easily looked up...and therefore was also only misspelled once in the book). All the other cases could just as easily have been expressed in English so there was no need to bring tears to the eyes of the German-speaking readers with Handküss, Känstlerkolonie, Kaffee mehr weiß and - my favourite - schokolade mit gepeitschter creme.
Sadly the lack of research didn't stop there. Anybody who spends more than 5 minutes researching Empress Elisabeth of Austria will be able to tell you that a) her nickname was spelled Sisi not Sissi and b) she disliked that name a lot and so it's unlikely that an old friend (as Cecile is in the books) would use it.
Now that we're over the nitpicking: I also didn't like the plot. Though to be fair that was mainly a matter of taste. I prefer my crime-protagonists to solve simple murders and not get involved in major conspiracies where the safety of the World (or at least the British Empire) is at stake. Unfortunately this was one of those. And as my least favourite premisse wasn't enough one of my least favourite tropes was also attached to it: the superhuman opponent. Because the bad guy in this book is exactly that. He knows everything and manages to break into Emily's room repeatedly even though she keeps improving her security. He seems to be capable of teleportation because I can't see how else he keeps getting in.
And because that wasn't enough there also is the most annoying Colin/Emily-jealousy storyline that could have been easily avoided if people just talked to each other.
Still all of this, (the conspiracy as well as Emily's and other people's relationship-troubles) still is most conveniently solved in the last 10 pages or so which makes it look like the author ran out of pages but had too much plotlines that needed a resolution.
I will still read the next book in the series because overall I'd say the book is more average than bad but hits a lot of my pet-peeves and I'm still fond of the characters. (Also I have the omnibus-edition with the first four books) but I'll take a break from Lady Emily for a while to forget how much she annoyed me.