And there is so. much. plotting. By a certain point, the Known Rogue is locked in a battle for devious supremacy with the enemy’s Housekeeper, and then it’s literally hundreds of pages of scheme and counter-scheme, most of which involve intercepted letters and disguises and feigned illnesses.
There’s a longish space near the end where the only way I could see it wrapping up was anti-climactically. There was an easy-and-boring solution waiting just near enough that I could see it, but far enough in the wings that it might legitimately jump out and be all The End! But that falls through, and improbable coincidence meets benevolent benefactry in a froth of Victorian HEA.
No Name was considered pretty immoral at the time (even though no one ever actually poisons anyone, despite all the tantalizing opportunities there are for poisoning) and it takes a bit of a brain shift to empathize, which you need to do because ultimately No Name is about choosing the Path of Good or the Path of Evil, and it’s hard to get the full effect when all you see is the Path of Good and the Path of Kind of Dastardly But Probably Something I Would Do Given the Circumstances, Especially If My Life Were a Novel (i.e. I Would Probably Poison Someone). Magdalen is constantly wringing her hands and agonizing over things and I’m all, what? Oh. Yes, I guess that’s sort of bad.
And I know I always use this as an excuse but it’s Victorian. So there are frequent references to the weakness of the female sex that have to be contended with, but I like to take those as the necessary opinions of the scoundrels who utter them and not of The Collins himself, whose female characters include such excellent creatures as Marian Halcombe, and whose menfolks are usually filed under Milquetoast (see also Wilkes, Ashley).
So! Not my favorite Collins, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.