A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder by Dianne Freeman

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (Countess of Harleigh Mystery, #5)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: Countess of Harleigh Mystery
Publication Date: 6/28/22
Period: Victorian London
Number of Pages: Audiobook

Poor Frances (Countess Harleigh) has spent a miserable last four months. Her mother came over from America to plan her sister’s wedding – and then stayed on to plan Frances’s wedding to George. Frances’s mother is best taken in small doses – but so is all of her family. Ah! But tomorrow she and George will be wed, and while they are off in the south of France for their wedding trip, Frances’s family will head back to America.

Sigh – those best-laid plans . . . The wedding was wonderful with so much love and joy, then on to the wedding breakfast at her brother-in-law’s house. Frances and George were giddy with happiness – until . . . Yes, Frances’s brother Alonzo was arrested for murder. It seems that Alonza was murdering the neighbor next door while everyone else was celebrating Frances and George. Or was he?

So, there goes their lovely trip because they absolutely must stay and help Alonzo. They don’t believe, even for a second, that Alonzo murdered Mr. Cooper – even if he was found standing over the body with a knife in his hand. It seems Alonzo was very interested in courting Mr. Cooper’s daughter, but the nasty, scheming, Mr. Cooper wanted a title in the family. When another body is added to the count everybody is looking for motives, connections, and murderers.

This was an excellently written, well-plotted, and well-delivered mystery accompanied by a lovely romance between two bright, intelligent, witty people you just have to love. The only reason I didn’t rate this book a 5-star read is that one of the characters was heir to a title and he was threatened with being disinherited and having the title passed to one of his other brothers. You CANNOT do that and it annoys me when an author tries to use that ploy. Two minutes of research would tell you that the laws of primogeniture don’t work that way and it couldn’t be done. He could be disinherited and all of the non-entailed monies could go to his brothers, but the title, entailed properties, and entailed monies would go to the firstborn legitimate son. Anyway, it is a well-done story other than that and I do definitely recommend it.

I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed the narrator, Sarah Zimmerman. Her voice was very pleasant, and you could hear the humor coming through. I could just picture my version of Frances with that exact voice. Her range of voices for the characters was well done and I loved how George’s frustration at not having any alone time with Frances came right through the voice.

I definitely recommend this book – and this audio version. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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