Release Date: Nov 10, 2020
Series: A Lady’s Guide
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Grand Central
Historical romance meets cozy mysteries in this start to a new series.
This book started off right where I wanted to be with our heroine, Lady Katherine Bascomb, widowed and owner of a newspaper. She befriends a fellow author and they embark on writing a column around a London serial killer. I mean, be still my crime show watching heart. This is definitely my type of book. We even have a Scotland Yard hero, Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham, who is also investigating the serial killer. At least until Lady Katherine’s new column and interview with a potential witness, our inspector missed, gets him banned from the case. Add in the fact that the Met arrested the wrong man for the murders and it’s mayhem for sure.
I was fully prepared for investigative journalism, watching Lady Katherine get into shenanigans in the dark corners of London with our dear inspector trailing after her in an effort to redeem his name and catch the killer. Boy, was I wrong. That’s not where this story went at all.
Instead, we go to a house party. Where *gasp* a murder occurs that looks suspiciously like the serial killer from London, but why? I found myself asking that question over and over again as our inspector hero is summoned from London and has a chance at redemption by finding out if this killer is the same as the serial killer. The wild chase that results is definite cozy territory. Other quotes about this book say rom-com with a mystery, but I didn’t gauge any laughable moments in this story. Though there is plenty of talk about murder and dangerous situations without the gore or and vivid descriptions of murder. Lots of sneaky things happening with hero and heroine always just a step away from putting it together and with each moment driving them ultimately closer… to each other.
Katherine and Eversham are constantly at odds between him trying to do his job and Katherine feeling the need to butt in because she feels responsible for the wrong person being arrested for the serial killer’s crimes. Though, the two share an attraction and this whole opposite attract thing drives a lot of their conflict as much as their debates over Katherine’s investigative prowess.
I wanted to like Katherine, but I found myself annoyed. She’s so smart, but there are multiple instances when the truth is right in front of her and she can’t see it. Eversham is a pretty impressive hero with a good, protective nature, though he also seemed snowed by things he shouldn’t have been. Katherine’s stubbornness is hard to ignore and at times ridiculous. Eversham, for all his bluster, ends up going along with it because he doesn’t have a choice.
Overall, the plot seemed more of convenience to force these two together and around each other. I found myself able to walk away from the story and not as engaged as I wanted to be, as this is my first Manda Collins book, I don’t want to throw in the towel yet… but I’m not sure this series is for me.