Cosy Mystery · Historical

A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery, #1) by Dianne Freeman

A cosy mystery, perfect to cuddle with enjoying a sunny evening. The first book of the series, A Countess of Harleigh Mystery promises.

American Countess of Harleigh Frances Wynn was married into the British aristocracy. Until her philandering husband dies of a heart attack while in bed with another. After spending a year mourning for him, Frances leaves the countryside and her parents-in-law behind to start anew as an independent woman. Enjoying her freedom as a widow, the Countess rents a house in Belgravia with her young 7-year old daughter. She waits for her sister Lily to arrive from New York for her first London session. When she starts investigating a series of robberies of houses nearby, a man is found dead in her back garden and someone tries to kill her in the busy streets of London. Can she prove her innocence?

The perfect building of suspense with enough twists to leave you guessing and an unexpected finale that will keep you glued to the pages. A fierce main female lead and a charming neighbour will make you fall in love with the plot and its characters. While the style of writing is simple and easy to follow, Freeman navigates through the Victorian society with grace and addictive and colourful descriptions. They make want to join Frances in her adventure and meet all the other characters that complete the novel perfectly. Every piece fits together in this novel.

This series is a bit different from your usual cosy mysteries. It takes place in English Victorian age but the story has the smoothness of a cosy mystery. Dianne Freeman adds the cosy to the historical in a mesmerising, funny way.

The main female character is a witty, feisty, mouthy heroine that fights for her freedom despite her world falling apart. Frances discovers her own strength and finds a purpose to her life after her husband’s death. She leaves his house after a long year, away from his money-thirsty family and fights to her freedom in a society that condemns her at every turn. This doesn’t bother her a bit though. She is far from being an innocent, defenceless damsel in distress. This refreshing, entertaining novel is a treat to all the fan of cosy mystery.

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Kensington Publishing Corp.and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.

5 Stars

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