cover image Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman

Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman

Tessa Arlen. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-05249-0

Set in 1912, Arlen’s lively if flawed debut centers on the murder of Teddy Mallory, found hanging from a gameskeeper’s gibbet on the grounds of Iyntwood, Lord Montfort’s country estate, the day after the annual summer ball. Teddy was Lord Montfort’s wastrel nephew. Lady Montfort, the mistress of Iyntwood, teams with Edith Jackson, her housekeeper, to do some amateur sleuthing. The subsequent disappearances of a housemaid and a guest complicate the case, though how they are related to the murder—if at all—is unclear. Frequent reminders of the unusualness of the two women’s cross-class alliance may annoy some readers. And the introduction of a boorish Scotland Yard detective who enjoys being rude to the gentry seems like overkill. He stands in marked contrast to the local chief constable and his respectful investigation. Mystery fans eager for yet another look at the quasi-feudal system that prevailed in England before WWI will be most rewarded. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Jan.)