Frances Price was a commoner, an American who brought one million dollars to her marriage into the Wynn family. But, her husband, Reggie, wasn't at all what she expected. He really was a philandering cad. Bed-hopping may be a sport of the aristocracy in Victorian England, but the American-born Countess of Harleigh is still horrified when her husband’s lover reports that Reggie is dead in her bed.
Reggie's death does free his widow to live her own life. After a year of mourning, she rents a house in London,despite the wishes of her brother-in-law. Frances sponsors her sister, Lily, for a Season. And the police receive an anonymous note that accuses her of murdering her husband.
In the midst of all this, Frances also suspects that one of her sister’s three suitors may be a thief who has been stealing at recent parties. She teams up with George Hazelton, her best friend’s brother, and the man who helped move Reggie’s body from his lover's room. Hazelton is now her neighbor in London, and has his own reasons to want to catch the thief.
A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder is a delightful debut historical mystery. Freeman introduces an appealing, clever woman who relishes her new role as a widow and amateur sleuth. There’s a cast of engaging characters in this atmospheric story, set in the ballrooms and breakfast rooms of Victorian London. The banter-filled conversations, the events, and clothes set the scene for readers who enjoy mysteries with a touch of romance, such as the books by Deanna Raybourn or D.M. Quincy.
Dianne Freeman's website is www.DiFreeman.com
A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman. Kensington, 2018. ISBN 9781496716873 (hardcover), 272p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.