Thursday, June 13, 2019

Gossip Can be Fatal

A Countess Harleigh Mystery #2
Dianne Freeman
Kensington Books
June 25, 2019

Frances, the recently widowed Countess of Harleigh, is settling into her independent life in London. Despite her American origins, Frances is well-liked and well-placed in Society, enough so to be a sort of matchmaker for young ladies making their debuts. She has introduced her young sister, Lily, to her future husband and is sponsoring a friend of Lily's, Charlotte, in Society. The grateful parents of her charges have added to Frances' limited income, but more importantly, Frances is determined that their marriages not as unhappy as her own. To that end, she has introduced her cousin Charles Evington to another widow, Mary Archer. When Mary is murdered in her own home, and Charles admits to being in the neighborhood at the time, he becomes the prime suspect. Frances, and her neighbor, the handsome and capable George Hazelton, set out to clear him. It turns out that there was much more to Mary Archer and her relations than met the eye.

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder is a delightful romp through the darker places of polite society. There are several new characters that I enjoyed, especially the klutzy, but bright and capable Charlotte and Charles who has made an art of appearing but not being, dim. The progress of the romance between George and Frances is more than satisfactory, and I look for more investigations featuring this well-matched pair.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 4 Stars