I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book, The Black Talisman was a bit too dark for me, but The Cryptic Lines was excellent. In addition, I was very fortunate to have been listening to the audio version, narrated by Jake Urry, so the whole experience was just wonderful.
We meet Charles Seymour as he battles a storm to enter the rambling old house of Lord Alfred Willoughby. The old gentleman has made several alterations to his will over the years, and it is Charles's job to effect these changes into the ever-changing document.
Lord Alfred's wastrel son, Matthew, is the subject of the latest changes; he is to be dropped from the will. Unfortunately Lord Alfred dies suddenly, having just thrown his last will and testament into the fire. Charles has the job of going through the old man's documents, now that his client is effectively intestate.
He discovers that Lord Alfred has left his son one last chance, a 'treasure hunt', devised to allow Matthew the opportunity to prove that he can apply himself to a task and stick with it. A poem provides a series of clues to a hidden sapphire, if this is found within a specified time, then Matthew will inherit, if not, then all will be given to charity. To Charles's surprise, he, himself, is also included in this hunt, in competition with Matthew.
The two men decide to work together and thus ensues a mysterious unravelling of clues and rushing about the estate.
Needless to say, they do succeed, it wouldn't be much of a story otherwise, but the denouement really made this book for me and I will admit to a small tear in the corner of my eyes at one point.
If you have a spare Audible credit, I highly recommend this book in audio, the narration is perfect. I'm just so sorry it has ended. I think I shall be listening to this again in the future.