Mischief and Murder
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder is such a catchy title! I don’t usually read mystery, but I could not stop myself from requesting this one on NetGalley.
The book is part of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery Series but can be read as a standalone.
My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy.
Title: A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman
Publication Date: Kensington Books (July 28, 2020)
In Dianne Freeman’s charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister’s wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance.
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 fiancé, 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. . . .
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Lady Harleigh, neé Frances Price, is a wealthy widow raising an eight years old daughter. She is secretly engaged to the lovely George Hazelton and about to marry her young sister Lily to a respectable and honorable man.
Things start to get complicated when her sister’s wedding plans suddenly change, and people start to get hurt and even killed.
Throw an ambitious mother, a jealous best man, some bickering siblings, and a mysterious new neighbor to the mix, and the result is a fun, light, and engrossing story.
I especially liked how Frances’ relationship with her mother changed as her views of life expanded. It is certainly not easy to confront a dominant parent.
The mystery is well woven. I had no clue about what was really going on until the very end.
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder is a very entertaining read. I intend to read the other books in the series.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Dianne Freeman is a life-long book lover who left the world of corporate finance to pursue her passion for writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, she realized her true love was fiction, historical mystery in particular. She also realized she didn’t like winter very much so now she and her husband pursue the endless summer by splitting their time between Michigan and Arizona. Her debut novel, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder won an Agatha Award for Best Debut, a Lefty Award for Best First Novel, and was nominated for a Mary Higgins-Clark Award.