cover image The Mitford Trial

The Mitford Trial

Jessica Fellowes. Minotaur, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-31683-7

In 1933, a few months after the Nazis take power in Germany, former Mitford family servant Louisa Cannon is approached by Iain, a British government agent, in bestseller Fellowes’s subpar fourth Mitford Murders mystery (after 2020’s The Mitford Scandal). Nancy Mitford, the eldest of the six Mitford sisters, recently offered to pay Louisa to accompany her mother and other family members on a Mediterranean cruise. Iain now asks her to accept Nancy’s offer, because he wants her to spy on two Mitford sisters who have expressed support for the Nazis, notably Diana, who has been having an affair with English fascist Oswald Mosley. Louisa lies to her new husband, CID Det. Sgt. Guy Sullivan, telling him that she’s going on the cruise to make some money. Guy ends up joining Louisa on the ship, where they’re soon investigating a passenger’s fatal bludgeoning. Flash-forwards to a murder trial with two defendants in 1935 inject some suspense, but this isn’t enough to make up for an uninspired plot. Series fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Caroline Michel, Peters Fraser and Dunlop (U.K.). (Jan.)