When does a story of any friendship begins? Why, at the beginning, of course.
When I was given Death at the Dance by Verity Bright to read (thanks to Netgalley) I absolutely had to start at the beginning of the series. So, I went ahead and bought the first book in the series A Very English Murder… and did not regret it for a minute.
I’ve met a lovely friend that I want to get to know more and more about. I’ve found a character that ticks all the right boxes for me as a reader. Lady Eleanor Swift is one fun lady… lady-detective…
England, 1920. Lady Eleanor Swift, adventurer extraordinaire and reluctant amateur detective, is taking a break from sleuthing. She’s got much bigger problems: Eleanor has two left feet, nothing to wear and she’s expected at the masked ball at the local manor. Her new beau Lance Langham is the host, so she needs to dazzle.
Surrounded by partygoers with painted faces, pirates, priests and enough feathers to drown an ostrich, Eleanor searches for a familiar face. As she follows a familiar pair of long legs up a grand staircase, she’s sure she’s on Lance’s trail. But she opens the door on a dreadful scene: Lance standing over a dead Colonel Puddifoot, brandishing a silver candlestick, the family safe wide open and empty.
Moments later, the police burst in and arrest Lance for murder, diamond theft and a spate of similar burglaries. But Eleanor is convinced her love didn’t do it, and with him locked up in prison, she knows she needs to clear his name.
Something Lance lets slip about his pals convinces Eleanor the answer lies close to home. Accompanied by her faithful sidekick Gladstone the bulldog, she begins with Lance’s friends – a set of fast driving, even faster drinking, high-society types with a taste for mischief. But after they start getting picked off in circumstances that look a lot like murder, Eleanor is in a race against time to clear Lance’s name and avoid another brush with death…
I am not sure what is more dangerous: a farmer with a pitchfork or a bunch of over-priveledged youth with no boundaries and no moral compass…
Death at The Dance finds Eleanor rushing to help her mmm friend Lancelot avoid hanging. Eleanor will have to interrogate a lot of people, drink a lot of fancy cocktails and dance nights away… It is not her cup of tea or glass of Angel Face or whatever.
Suprisingly, for the cozy mystery, reader will be kept gu
Eleanor is amazing. She is smart, freespirit, unconventional and strong. She does want to fit in in her new community but she does not want to fit in with titled and priviledged. She is not ‘financially challenged’ but does not like to overspend. She is a gem.
I absolutely loved the main character. And her butler is a very unexpected find. Clifford is butler-driver-bodyguard-side kick. He is her Guardian Angel.
I’ve seen a lot of butlers in cozy mysteries. But Clifford is one of a kind. Author does provide a bit of back story on him but still.. she is a mystery.
I’ve read two books in these series so far and can’t wait to read more. Lady Swift mysteries are light and bright. They are lady-like as they do not contain and nasty details, gore or outright violence. They are set in English country on the estate with immaculate gardens. They are dressed in a bit of out of fashion but still amazing frocks and… Yes, they have a devoted constantly hungry attention-addicted bulldog Gladstone.
What more could you wish for?
Five stars from me.