So this begins quite a bit more slowly than The Astonishing Adventures of Jane Smith, which I loved. There is a lot of setting up and backstory. I think it could have been condensed, but I can feel Wentworth conscientiously trying to not confuse the slower readers. ;-) And she's trying to work in a romance, and that takes a bit of time too.
It's a fascinating premise, and I'm tempted to lift it for some kind of a period mash-up -- a young woman inherits the entire estate of a distant relative -- including his thriving blackmail practice complete with villainous partner.
LOVE this cover.