A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder

Dianne Freeman. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1693-4
In Agatha Award–winner Freeman’s uneven third mystery set in late Victorian England (after 2019’s A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder), George Hazelton, the secret fiancé of widowed Frances Wynn, the Countess of Harleigh, agrees to host a discreet wedding for Frances’s pregnant sister, Lily, at his family’s country estate, Risings, in an effort to avoid scandal. Trouble arises at Risings after a footman dies from what looks like accidental arsenic poisoning, a family friend is wounded by an arrow, and Lily’s fiancé, Leo Kendrick, takes a bullet in the shoulder. Guessing that Leo is the real target, Frances and George probe various suspects, including Leo’s brother-in-law, who resents not making partner in the Kendrick family business. Meanwhile, Frances copes with her combative social-climbing mother and a new fear: what if George too is also in danger? The introduction of a host of secondary characters slows the opening, and the footman’s is the only death. Once the investigation gets going, however, the action builds to a strong denouement. Hopefully, Freeman will return to form next time. Agent: Melissa Edwards, Stonesong Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/19/2020
Release date: 07/28/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-811-7
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4967-1694-1
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