It’s no surprise that I’m pretty dedicated to reading historical romance, but I was feeling like I needed to shake things up a bit this summer. What better way to do that than with… a murder!
Growing up my mom was a dedicated Murder She Wrote and Masterpiece Mystery fan. I remember laying in bed with the lights out, only able to faintly hear the tv in the living room. The swaying shadows on my bedroom wall from the trees outside, moaning sound effects from the show faintly making their way down the hall, and my very vivid nine-year-old imagination always got the best of me. (Seriously, those howling wind sounds still give me the chills!) Let’s just say I have a seriously low tolerance for edge of your seat thrillers, but a cozy Victorian mystery -sign me up! (can a mystery be cozy? I’m going to say so)
While this is the third book in the Frances Wynn mystery series, it was my first introduction to this delightful character. Simply put, I loved this book! Historical accuracy is one point that I really appreciate as a reader. Diane Freeman does a superb job of writing a strong female character, yet keeping her within that Victorian restraint women were constantly under at the time.
Like an Agatha Christy novel, this book will have you thinking back on every little detail long after you have placed it back on the shelf. Every twist and turn had me trying to guess who was the murderer. The highest praise I can give this book is that I can not wait to go back and read the first two books in the series. This is a must-read!
The first twinges of apprehension tickled the back of my neck like icy finger. “Dearest, is something amiss?”
She burst into tears.
Hetty wrapped her arms around Lily and cast a scowl my way. “Now look what you’ve done.”
I must admit the exchange left me baffled. And concerned. I swept around the desk and leaned over my sister. “Lily, please tell me what happened.”
As her tears continued to flow, Hetty settled her in a chair and gave me the news. Lily was with child. I reeled back against the desk and uttered the first word that came to mind.
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…
A LADY’S GUIDE TO MISCHIEF AND MURDER
BY DIANNE FREEMAN
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: A Countess of Harleigh Mystery, Book 3
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. She’s been nominated for an Agatha and the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, and won the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, August 3
Review & Excerpt at Probably at the Library
Tuesday, August 4
Interview at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Wednesday, August 5
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Thursday, August 6
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Friday, August 7
Review at Bookish Rantings
Monday, August 10
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, August 12
Review at Hallie Reads
Thursday, August 13
Review at Book Bustle
Friday, August 14
Review & Excerpt at Gwendalyn’s Books
Monday, August 17
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves A Story
Tuesday, August 18
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Wednesday, August 19
Review at Books and Zebras
Thursday, August 20
Feature at I’m Into Books
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder + a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.