cover image Of Hoaxes and Homicide: A Dear Miss Hermione Mystery

Of Hoaxes and Homicide: A Dear Miss Hermione Mystery

Anastasia Hastings. Minotaur, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-84858-1

The captivating second installment in Hastings’s Dear Miss Hermione historical mystery series (after 2023’s Of Manners and Murder) sends half-sisters Violet and Sephora Manville on the trail of a nature-worshipping cult in Victorian England. Strong-minded Violet has made a secret career as Miss Hermione, a London magazine columnist who answers letters from the public about etiquette and matters of the heart. When she receives a message from a frantic mother whose daughter has run off with a “wanton” group called the Hermetic Order of the Children of Aed, she’s intrigued, but not enough to act—until she realizes that the daughter in question is Margaret Thuringer, Sephora’s best friend. Pretending to be interested in joining the Order, Violet travels to their base, an eerie community in a ruined abbey in which devoted members tend to the whims of their charismatic “Master.” Shortly after her arrival, one member is murdered, and Margaret is suspected of the crime. After she’s arrested, Violet and Sephora set out to find the real killer. Hastings never loses her footing while toggling between her large cast of characters, and fluidly intersperses comedic moments and game-changing twists. Readers will be ravenous for the next installment in the series. (Jan.)