Letter to a Duchess: A Duchess of Blackmoore Mystery by Nellie H. Steele

Letter to a Duchess: A Duchess of Blackmoore Mystery (Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries Book 2)Barbara’s rating: 3.7 of 5 Stars
Series: A Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries #2
Publication Date: 7/19/22
Period: Regency or Victorian (hard to tell)
Number of Pages: 365

This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I could have given each of them 5-stars except for the historical inaccuracies. The author teaches at a college, so I don’t understand why she couldn’t take the time to research something as simple as forms of address. I was jolted from the story each time someone addressed the Duke or Duchess as Duke (or Duchess) Blackmoore or worse yet introduces her as Mrs. Robert Fletcher. That is just so very wrong – and getting it correct would be so very easy. Even if it was correct, there was just so very much of it.

Lenora Hastings has had an unusual talent (or curse) her entire life. It has made her life miserable because nobody could deal with a child who could talk with the dead. Everyone left her, even the nuns at the convent couldn’t deal with it and turned her over to an orphanage. As an adult (barely) she married Robert Fletcher, the Duke of Blackmoore, and used her talent to solve the mystery of the death of Robert’s first wife.

The Duke’s ne’er do well brother, Edwin, has written Lenora a letter begging her to use her talent to get him out of trouble. He is in Glasgow and has been arrested for murder. He swears he didn’t do it and he believes all Lenora has to do is speak to the ghost of the murder victim and find out who really did do it. Nothing, of course, is ever that easy when one is speaking with the dead.

The Duke doesn’t want Lenora to have anything to do with his brother, but she convinces him to let her try. The main reason she believes Edwin is that her deceased friend Tillie insists he is innocent.

With uncommunicative ghosts, seedy locales, dangerous villains, and a worrywart husband, finding the true murderer isn’t easy. When there is another attack and they all come under suspicion, they know that they have to quickly find the real murderer. Will they all survive? Can they thwart the murderer and prove Edwin isn’t guilty? You’ll just have to read the book to see.

I enjoyed the mystery and thought it was well-plotted and well-delivered. Other than the forms of address, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. One thing that struck me as a bit humorous though – the ghosts kept coming to Lenora at night and sometimes literally pulling her from her bed. They lead her into the bowls of Glasgow – and always into trouble. Robert would rant – but – somehow it never occurred to him that he ought to sleep in the same bedroom so he’d know when she was dragged out into the night.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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