Huh. Well, Ismal got redeemed pretty well considering. You know, if you must redeem a bad guy, you need to do it believably. I'd guess his getting stuck helping England with security issues for 10 years probably would do it. Well, that and his apologies at the end of the previous book.
The h was a victim of sorts - her father was the person the previous heroine's uncle had been dealing with. And, Ismal had extracted a confession from him. Of course, what he didn't know was that a couple of shysters were after her dowry and his visit inconvenienced them a bit. So, when he figures out who she is, he blames himself for her circumstances.
The plot is simple - her husband (one of those shysters) dies and she quickly figures out it wasn't natural causes. Since he's pretty much a douchebag to everyone he's met, there's a long list of suspects. Ismal gets to investigate.
Unlike the previous book, no conclusions were jumped - by anyone. Thus, nobody acted stupid. Granted, the heroine's tantrums were a bit much (throwing your paints/canvas around. Right.), but other than that...