"Property Of A Lady Faire" is the eight volume in The Secret Histories series by Simon R. Green and continues the story-arc that started in previous volume "Casino Infernale." The series is best described as a cross-pollination of urban fantasy with James Bond-style widescreen adventures, with lots of hidden conspiracy tales added into the mix, and leavened with Green's wacky sense of humor. It stars a secret agent with a supernatural twist called Eddie Drood (aka Shaman Bond), who is a scion of the Drood family that has a long tradition of fighting those unnamable things that lurk on the darker side: when these things go bump in the night, the Droods bump back. Hard.
In "Property Of A Lady Faire," Eddie returns to the family manor Drood Hall for the reading of his grandmother's will. As you might guess, where there's a will, there's a complication: she bestows on him a mysterious box that supposedly will make him Patriarch of the family. Of course, this comes with one condition: he has to give up his girlfriend Molly - forever. And although neither becoming Patriarch nor giving up his lady love holds any appeal to him, this plunks him in a sticky situation with the rest of the family, who of course suspect all kinds of nefarious motives.
Besides that, Eddie and his girlfriend Molly Metcalf must also find out who is behind a group of seemingly unstoppable mercenaries, who have decimated the Department of Uncanny - and also murdered Eddie's grandfather, the Regent of Shadows. Of course, as per usual, everybody - including the Droods - thinks that Eddie and Molly murdered everyone at the Department of Uncanny. Especially because the late Regent was also behind the death of Molly's parents - and now can't answer any questions about who gave him those orders.
And as if this isn't enough, Eddie's parents have gone missing. A solution is at hand: a phantom Voice informs Eddie that it's holding his parents hostage, and that only finding an ancient object will secure their release. So Eddie and Molly have to go after the Lazarus Stone, an object that once belonged to his family and has the ability to control time and bring people back from the past. The catch: it is now in the possession of the Lady Faire, a very mysterious and powerful being - and someone who isn't willing to give It up without a fight. So it's up to Eddie and Molly to figure out a way for getting their hands on the Lazarus Stone and rescuing his parents.
As per usual in a Green novel, the action never stops, taking the reader along on a roller-coaster ride of an adventure that will have you gasping for air by the time you've finished it. Now, I probably should withdraw a star because this is just the literary equivalent of a popcorn-movie, escapist fare that doesn't require you to think too hard while reading about the improbable escapades of Eddie Drood. But it being such a light-hearted adventure is the major reason why I like this series so much. That, and the way Simon R. Green manages twists to the story that you usually didn't see coming, as well as his skill at turning even the most calamitous situation his heroes end up in, into something that will make me grin often because of the witty banter and the over-the-top semi-comic capers. Recommended!