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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Review - The Mayfair Dagger

 The tagline for the book is: "A witty, feminist mystery set in the heart of nineteenth-century London, this daring adventure featuring an intrepid woman detective will thrill fans of Deanna Raybourn and Katharine Schellman."  Since I love both those authors, I couldn't wait to read this book.  It is available for preorder now with a release date of April 2024.

Author: Ava January

Copyright: April 2024 (Crooked Lane Books) 304 pgs

Series: Mayfair Dagger Standalone? Series?

Sensuality: mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Cozy, Amateur Sleuth

Main Characters: Albertine Honeycombe passing as a Countess

Setting: 1894, London England

Obtained Through: Publisher for an honest review, Netgalley

 Book Blurb:  "Albertine Honeycombe never wanted a husband and certainly not the one with fifteen children that her cousin, Aubrey, is trying to marry her off to. She reinvents herself as Countess Von Dagga, a private detective aiding the upper echelons of women in society. As the Countess, she is a married woman, with a conveniently absent husband who doesn’t exist, which allows her far more freedom than being single.

When Lord Grendel, from whom she has recovered blackmail letters, is murdered, Albertine is suspect number one—having been the last person to see him. And when the Duke of Erleigh comes looking for her utterly fictitious husband, she realizes she has landed herself in hot water, without a tea bag. When Albertine also becomes the prime suspect in her fictional husband’s death, things are looking grim.

Unless Albertine can prove who murdered Lord Grendel and clear her name, her choices are stepmothering enough small children to start a school or hanging from the end of Her Majesty's rope."

MY Thoughts:  Albertine Honeycombe, aka Countess Von Dagga, is determined, smart, a bit naive, and kind hearted.  She is still grieving the death of her beloved brother while trying to make her own way as a detective.  Her best friend and maid, Joan, is a hilarious flirt.  Spencer Sweetman, Duke of Erleigh, is a Scotland Yard Detective who investigates her.

The mystery wasn't that complicated but provided the background for laugh-out-loud situations, romance, and a young lady with good intentions learning some hard lessons about navigating the world she was unprepared for. I know there are those out there that don't like much emphasis on the romance part of mysteries, so take note that this has a stronger romance element than most.  It is still a mystery, but it has a strong romantic element.  

The killer seemed pretty obvious even with a few red herrings, but the journey was worth it since I became vested in Albertine. I was hooked early and read this pretty fast for me.  It kept my interest through the entire book.  The climatic reveal was tense and different from any other reveal I've read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope this will be a series.

Thank you for reading this blog and please recommend to friends and family who will enjoy it.

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

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