Blog Tour – Spruced Up For Murder by Helen Golden

About The Book

Death at Francis Court Now Confirmed as Murder!

Speculation is rife that the victim, estate manager Alex Sterling (44), was found by Lady Beatrice (35), the Countess of Rossex, niece of King James. Lady Beatrice, who has finally come out of hiding following her son’s departure to boarding school, has been managing the project to refurbish and redesign the Events Suite at Francis Court, alongside Perry Juke.

Heading up the murder investigation is Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam. Rumour has it that he and Lady Beatrice have a fractious history…

Awful man! How dare Fitzwilliam suggest Lady Beatrice’s sister is the number one suspect for Alex’s murder. It could be any one of the staff who were on-site that morning. Well, she’ll show Mr High and Mighty Fitzwilliam! With her attention to detail, her clever dog Daisy, Perry’s imagination, and his partner’s contacts at Fenshire CID, they’ll find the murderer before him.

Unless the murderer finds her first…

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Author’s Bio

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in a small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my stepdaughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my stepson, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

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Barbara’s Review

This is certainly a unique concept for a cozy murder mystery, so kudos to this debut author for that. The mystery was well developed and the clues were dropped enticingly along with the red herrings. It did take me a while to figure out who the ongoing protagonists were going to be (for the series) – mostly because they are such an unlikely mix. Again, kudos to the author for that.

Lady Beatrice, Countess of Rossex, is the reclusive, widowed niece of the king. Fourteen years ago, her husband was killed in an automobile accident, with another woman in the car. Lady Beatrice was very young at the time and the ensuing feeding frenzy by the press caused her to become almost a hermit – rarely leaving her apartments. To help bring her out of her shell, her sister, Lady Sarah, cajoles her into taking on an interior decorating project at Francis Court.

Perry Juke has worked at Francis Court for several years and is now assistant to Lady Sarah. Lady Sarah thinks Perry and this project are just what Lady Beatrice needs to bring her out of hiding. So, who is he to object? Even though he thinks Lady Beatrice is cold, snooty, and aloof, he agrees to the task. Perry’s partner, Simon Lattimore (a famous crime writer), reminds Perry that there could be other reasons for Lady Beatrice to appear cold and aloof. Perry is ready to begin the project and have some fun – and he was delighted to find a wonderful new friend in Lady Beatrice.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam was part of the team who originally investigated the death of Lady Beatrice’s husband. Now, he is back investigating a new murder and as soon as he and Lady Beatrice are on the same turf, the hostilities begin.

Perry, Simon, and Lady Beatrice are bound and determined to solve the crime first and show that gruff, condescending detective up. DCI Fitzwilliam does not take well to their meddling in police business and the fur flies.

I thought this book had an excellent mix of humor and drama. The chemistry between all of the characters was realistic and I was sure I’d like them if I ever met them in real life. Personally, I thought the book was a bit wordy and a tad draggy at a few spots, but overall, it was a nice read. Somehow, though, I couldn’t get my head around the fact that the person who is 17th in line for the English throne is playing at being a detective.

I can recommend this book and I hope you will enjoy it should you choose to read it. The next two books in the series will be following close behind this one, so be on the lookout for them – For Richer, For Deader (11/16/22) & Not Mushroom For Death (12/14/22).

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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