In this exciting historical mystery debut set in Victorian England, a wealthy young widow encounters the pleasures—and scandalous pitfalls—of a London social season . . .
Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. After an obligatory year spent mourning her philandering husband, Reggie, she puts aside her drab black gowns, leaving the countryside and her money-grubbing in-laws behind. With her young daughter in tow, Frances rents a home in Belgravia and prepares to welcome her sister, Lily, arriving from New York—for her first London season.
No sooner has Frances begun her new life than the ghosts of her old one make an unwelcome appearance. The Metropolitan police receive an anonymous letter implicating Frances in her husband’s death. Frances assures Inspector Delaney of her innocence, but she’s also keen to keep him from learning the scandalous circumstances of Reggie’s demise. As fate would have it, her dashing new neighbor, George Hazelton, is one of only two other people aware of the full story.
While busy with social engagements on Lily’s behalf, and worrying if Reggie really was murdered, Frances learns of mysterious burglaries plaguing London’s elite. The investigation brings death to her doorstep, and Frances rallies her wits, a circle of gossips, and the ever-chivalrous Mr. Hazelton to uncover the truth. A killer is in their midst, perhaps even among her sister’s suitors. And Frances must unmask the villain before Lily’s season—and their lives—come to a most unseemly end . .
Out July 2018
I received this Uncorrected Proof in exchange for my honest review.
A fantastic historical Victorian era cozy mystery! And it’s a good one too, for a change!
Often it’s the case where a story’s just been done to overdone in a genre, they all seem the same or the plot is repetitive and boring. Then, you get that one book out of nowhere, that discusses a truly wonderful and complex story-line that borders more on being a breath of fresh air. A happy dance ensues and you dive in hoping it will tantalize your mystery taste buds to the extreme. There’s a moment of holding your breath as you read…
Then you do another happy dance! The book is exactly what you’ve needed in its genre.
A perfectly plotted book, with a wonderful and delectable MC who is hilarious and downright loveable. You are kept guessing until the very end and when you find out who dunnit, you are satisfied with the outcome. I can’t rave enough about this first book in the series and I truly hope Dianne Freeman is capable of continuing the enjoyable ride for her readers in future books.
Frances’ surviving the death of her husband and the subsequent ending to her grieving period helps her character to develop wonderfully. As she strives for independence, she fills the pages with crazy behaviors and antics that will make you laugh!
I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
I gave this book: