Historical mysteries seem to be all the rage at the moment, and fortunately, publishers have yet to monetise and ruin the trend to such a degree that you can't find a selection of well written series to enjoy. While the quality of cozy mysteries has been abysmal the last several years, Historical Mysteries have filled in the gap nicely for me.
A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder is the 3rd in a series I discovered at my first (and so far only) Bouchercon convention. It's a good series, and this book is a strong 3rd book, moving the characters' arcs along quickly, while presenting an interesting stand-alone plot, with clues easily missed and writing that skilfully misdirected the reader down several false avenues. As the story moved along, some of the misdirection became obvious, but some of it didn't, rendering a delightful mystery well done.
My only groan over the book was the introduction of Countess Harleigh's mother who was caricatured for most of her page time, only to do the whole mama-lion thing and achieving what to me was an insincere redemption in the final pages. Fortunately she's not around much in this book and it wasn't enough to really weight the book down.
Ok, can we all say “cliff hanger”? Because this has a huge one. I do have the next in this series, so am not too upset, but wow, I would have been. I had a problem getting into the story, but once I passed the first couple of chapters, my interest peaked. This is a convoluted who done it, many paths and possible outcomes. If you have not read this, know at least one more book is a necessity and this is an intense read.
I've really enjoyed the first three books in this series, and though I enjoyed this one too it was a bit heavy on the sentimentality.
Penrose crafts her plots around fictionalised versions of real historic events, and this time around it's mathematical machines and financial shenanigans that may or may not involve the East India Company. Her historical knowledge always adds an extra depth to the story, and a well plotted mystery makes it even better.
Charlotte has built quite a scooby gang around her and Wexford, and the characters are fully fleshed and they're easy to care about and cheer for. But the dynamic between Wexford and Charlotte has become increasingly sentimental to the point of down right syrupy. The sentiments are lovely, but just a little too much for my tastes. I was also getting aggravated at the overuse of the word ‘dastards’.
I'm still a fan, but I'm hoping the next book will regain a little of the edge the first couple had.
An old woman walked into a funeral house to arrange for her own funeral. She died a few hours later, in her home. She was killed and the mystery started this way.
A detective who was fired from the homicide team Hawthorne, was working as a consultant for the case.
Anthony Horowitz written himself into the book and act as Watson to Sherlock. This Hawthorne was a loner and a strange man. He is not nice or friendly, but could take up clues like no other. Anthony agreed to write his book if he could solve this murder.
The old lady, had killed a boy in a car accident almost 10 years back. Is this revenge? Or is it something else? She had a son who is a famous actor. Is it because of the son?
Goes a bit back and forth. I would give it a 4.5 stars.