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Monday, December 18, 2017

Review - Murder in Mayfair

I enjoy historical mysteries and I tip my hat to the authors who have all the usual challenges in creating a good murder mystery plus writing the era's details.  

This is a new author to me, and I have been looking more closely at Crooked Lane Books since Penguin/Random House has been killing off many of their mystery series offerings.  D.M. Quincy is also Diana Quincy the historical romance author.  Please read on and see if this new series interests you.

Author:  D.M. Quincy

Copyright: July 2017 (Crooked Lane Books) 304 pgs

Series: 1st in Atlas Catesby Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild, some sensitive subject matter is inferred.

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical 

Main Characters: Atlas Catesby, youngest son of a Baron

Setting: Regency era, London

Obtained Through: Personal purchase

From the cover: "In 1814, Atlas Catesby, a brilliant adventurer and youngest son of a baron, is anxious to resume his world travels after being injured in a carriage accident in London. But his plans are derailed when, passing through a country village, he discovers a helpless woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder--by her husband.

In order to save her from being violated by another potential buyer, Atlas purchases the lady, Lilliana, on the spot to set her free. But Lilliana, desperate to be with her young sons and knowing the laws of England give a father all parental rights, refuses to be rescued--until weeks later when her husband is murdered and Atlas is the only one who can help clear her name of the crime.

Fortunately, Atlas is a master at solving complicated puzzles, with games as well as the intricacies of human motivation, and finds himself uniquely suited to the task, despite the personal peril it may put him in. But soon Altas learns the dead man had many secrets--and more than a few enemies willing to kill to keep them quiet."

Atlas Catesby is a confirmed bachelor until of course the events in this book.  I liked him tremendously for his sense of right and wrong and even his chivalry.  Lilliana is a hoot, strong-willed and proud, and smart.  She is Atlas's match and bests him occasionally.  But she is also hiding something in her past.  Gabriel Young, the Earl of Charlton is Atlas' good friend and he rises to the challenge to be more than a spoiled noble and assist Atlas when he needs it. The investigating Bow Street Runner, Endicott, has Atlas or Lilliana in his sites for the murder - but he is sharper than you might think.  Thea Palmer is Atlas' sister and an avid mathematician takes Lilliana under her wing.  I particularly enjoyed her character.

Regency London and the rural township that Lilliana's husband resides are accurately rendered, particularly with regards to her legal status.  These facts all play into the plot as a motive for her to be suspected of murdering her husband.  The writing keeps a good pace and several twists spring up to keep the pages turning.  

The killer reveal has a level of danger and tension that were unexpected and throat clenching for me.  Well done.  The wrap up was bitter sweet and made me ache for the next book to see how Liliana and Atlas find their way to each other.

This debut novel for a new series presents two strong lead characters with their respective baggage, and a twisting plot.  I will give one note of caution, occasionally modern language (contractions etc.) and attitudes (sympathy towards women's rights) seep into the story.  If that is a deal breaker for you, then please note that now.  I was aware of the break with true Regency customs and mores between Atlas and Lilliana, but it didn't stop my enjoyment.

Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list 

The next book, Murder in Bloomsbury is due out February 13, 2018.

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traveler said...

Thanks for this captivating feature and giveaway which interests me greatly. The characters, the plot and the era are all fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Your review caught my interest in this intriguing and mysterious novel. The novel sounds unique and memorable. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

prince said...

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