Just Out – Book Review – A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Nothing makes a rushed wedding more exciting than an accident or four…

Synopsis

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. . . . 

Review

Well they are not mentioned at tea and are not called murders, poisonings, burnings or… upstairs, especially if most of the victims are from down stairs. They are called accidents.

And George Hazelton’s childhood home is the arena of as many as 4 ‘accidents’ and that is when Frances Harleigh family came to visit and have a small intimate and quiet wedding… a rushed wedding.

I have not read Frances’ previous adventures but am hopeful I will find the time to do so soon. I absolutely loved this character, her strength and determination, her love for her family and her strong will. I am so happy that all the accidents were solved and culprit was found at the end.

Moreover, I am happy that Frances and her mother restored and improved their cool and distant relationship. Mothers will be mothers but they are still our mothers…

The bunch of other characters are colourful and exciting. I really want to see where author will take them next.

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder is a fun, light, easy to read and like cozy mystery and suspense. It is colourful, well drawn and atmospheric. It’s period costume drama with a mix of comedy at its best.

Five stars for being such a fun read in quarantine times.

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