Share This

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Review - The Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

#1 A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder (review-click here),  #2 A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder I read but didn't do a review, and now we are on #3 in the series which was an Agatha Award nominee!  The 4th in the series is due out this July 27.

Author: Dianne Freeman

Copyright: July 2020 (Kensington Books) 245 pgs

Series: 3rd in Countess of Harleigh Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Cozy mystery, amateur sleuth

Main Characters:  Frances Wynn, the wealthy Countess of Harleigh- recently widowed

Setting: Victorian era, London and countryside, England

Obtained Through: Library

Book Blurb: "London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host—or hide—any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily’s imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton’s family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits—shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens.

 But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it’s not simply the arrival of Frances’s socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, mysterious accidents befall guests and staff alike. Before long, Frances suspects these “accidents” are deliberate, and fears that the intended victim is Lily’s fiancĂ©, Leo. Frances’s mother is unimpressed by Lily’s groom-to-be and would much prefer that Lily find an aristocratic husband, just as Frances did. But now that Frances has found happiness with George—a man who loves her for much more than her dowry—she heartily approves of Lily’s choice. If she can just keep the couple safe from villains and meddling mamas.

 As Frances and George search for the culprit among the assembled family, friends, and servants, more victims fall prey to the mayhem. Mishaps become full-blooded murder, and it seems that no one is safe. And unless Frances can quickly flush out the culprit, the peal of wedding bells may give way to another funeral toll. . . ."

Frances Wynn is enjoying her life for the first time in her life.  Her sister, Lily, is about to wed for love but must move up the nuptials because of a bun-in-the-oven.  Frances' mother is one of those characters you love to hate, she is hell bent on her daughter's marrying titles, or at least big money.  Neighbor and a friend's brother, George Hazelton, is Frances' love interest and best sidekick. This shows what sort of man he is when his brother's servants show him tremendous respect.  

The main plot of accidents happening and Frances piecing together that there is more to them is supplemented with the family dynamics and undercurrents. Leo's sisters are handfuls and everyone works to keep them separated to avoid constant squabbles, both Frances and Lily attempt to dodge their mother because she is single minded about who each should marry and that doesn't include either Leo or George.  This gives a very real feeling of juggling a house full of people while there is something wrong taking place. This also kept my interest as accidents kept happening amidst the hub-bub.

 This had my favorite killer reveal, exciting and a little nail-biting suspense. Frances does figure it out, just in the barest nick-of-time to save a life.  The wrap ties up all loose ends and left a smile on my face.

Many of the historical mysteries have a slightly darker edge to them.  This is the exception with its more breezy writing style. It has a strong element of light-hearted humor, particularly between Frances and George. I have come to look forward to each new release of this series as a pleasant respite from the world. I highly recommend.

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

Interview with the author:

Bookmark and Share


Related Posts with Thumbnails