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Review ❤️ A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman

July 31, 2020


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. . . .

Release Date: Jul 28, 2020
Series: A Countess of Harleigh Mystery 
Book: 3
Publisher: Kensington 
Price: $12.99

In the London Aristocratic society of 1899, Lady Frances, Countess of Harleigh, must come to her sister’s aide and plan a quick wedding ceremony.  George Hazelton, brother to the Earl of Hartfield and fiancé to Lady Harleigh, volunteers his brother’s estate, Risings in Hampshire, for the immediate nuptials.  A shooting party at the estate accompanied by a quick-shot wedding, somehow leads to a serious turn of events and some unexplainable accidents that set Lady Harleigh in the midst of the investigation.  But is there a mystery to solve? Is someone scheming or are these just unfortunate events?  And will Lady Harleigh, solve the mystery before it’s too late and before the ones she loves come to any harm?

After the end of a nine-year marriage, now a widow, Lady Harleigh, is waiting for the right time to announce her engagement to George Hazelton.  Having her sister’s wedding sooner has provided her with the opportunity to spend more time with George.  Looking forward to stolen moments among the vast manicured lawns of the estate, Lady Harleigh is startled by the strange happenings around her and proceeds to take matters into her own hands. I adored the character of Lady Harleigh.  Strong, gutsy with an independent mind of her own, yet she delicately takes charge over the questioning of the guests and staff.  Lady Harleigh’s character is written with an adventurous spirit and a passionate heart.

And among the chaos and the celebrations of the week-long activities, George Hazelton, has managed to keep Lady Harleigh close.  Volunteering his brother’s estate for the wedding was a timely happenstance.  But among the joyous events, there seems to be an air of threat among the accidents occurring. Decidedly so, he teams up with Lady Harleigh to investigate and trace their suspicions. I appreciated the character of George Hazelton and his positive and assured partnership with Lady Harleigh.  Dedicated, passionate and wholeheartedly in love, Mr. Hazelton brings the Mr. Darcy (vibe) to this enigmatic mystery. 

Accidents, threats and death revolve around the characters of this mystery.  With a good line-up of supportive characters, some meeting each other for the first time, the possibilities and alternate of suspects kept me agreeing with the current state of the investigation. Suspicion abounded at every corner and love adds to the diversion. So, join Lady Harleigh, along this gripping mystery that will have you plotting character against character till the very end.

~ Patricia

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