Historical Mystery

Murder In Mayfair by D. M. Quincy

Murder in Mayfair (Atlas Catesby #1)Murder in Mayfair by D.M. Quincy

Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Atlas Catesby #1
Publication Date: 07/11/17

Delightful, cleverly plotted, well-developed characters and TWO mysteries that will keep you guessing right to the end. If you love Sebastian St. Cyr, Alec Halsey, Captain Lacey, etc. you will love this book as well. I believe this is Quincy’s first foray into writing a mystery, but it sure doesn’t seem like it.

Atlas Catesby, the youngest son of a baron, is a restless wanderer. He is brilliant and solutions to complex puzzles just leap out at him – when he is calm and can concentrate. To ‘relax’ for concentration he often works on impossible picture puzzles that he special orders because ordinary ones aren’t enough of a challenge. For all of that brilliance, he is filled with guilt and that guilt causes him to constantly be in rescue mode – especially for damsels in distress. Hopefully, he’ll work through that guilt through the course of the series and come to realize he has no blame for what happened to his sister.

Lilliana Warfield is a strong, resilient, intelligent woman but she is also very soft and loving inside. Since the age of sixteen, she has been married to a monster. While he doesn’t physically abuse her, he uses whatever form of mental torture he can think up. Yet she manages to remain sane and defiant and produces two beautiful sons that she loves with all her heart. She also hides a secret that she cannot let anyone discover.

There are several other characters in the book that I hope will become the ‘supporting cast’ of the series. (1) The Earl of Charlton is Atlas’ very good friend. He also seems to have a tendre for Atlas’ married older sister. Will be interesting to see if something happens there or if he just loves teasing her or what. (2) Mrs. Thea Palmer, Atlas’ sister, and a mathematician. She is married but we never meet her husband because they live separately though they care for each other. Will be interesting to figure out that whole relationship. (3) Peter and Robin, Lilliana’s children. Delightful little scamps who just need some love and attention – especially from a caring male. (4) The Duke of Somerville is someone I won’t explain, you’ll just have to read the book to find all of his relationships, but he is a very dear and caring young man.

I won’t give you a blow-by-blow of the book because you can get the gist of the story from the blurb that the publisher has developed. What you should know is that there are many twists and turns and so very many possible culprits. The murder victim is a really nasty, hateful man and you are actually happy to see him gone – the only reason to care who the real murderer is – is because Bow Street is thinking that the murderer is either Lilliana or Atlas! The real murderer will be a surprise.

Lilliana and Atlas have a real attraction between them, but circumstances make Atlas think there is no chance of a future for them. So, we will have to wait and wonder if Lilliana and Atlas get together in a future book or will they each find happiness with someone else. Since I love both of them, I’m hoping for them getting together.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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The Detecting Duchess By Kate Parker

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery Book 5)The Detecting Duchess by Kate Parker

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: A Victorian Bookshop Mystery #5
Publication Date: May 26, 2016

Kate Parker gives us yet another delightful, intriguing, mystery and adventure set in Victorian England. I feel as if I have waited absolutely FOREVER for this book – and it has been about a year-and-a-half – much too long since the last release. I hope the next book won’t be as long in coming! I also hope the author doesn’t decide to make this the last of the series because I can see so many delightful storylines in this newly wedded state!

Miss Georgia Fenchurch is the middle-class owner of an antiquarian bookstore. She is also a member of the Archivist Society and the fiancé of the Duke of Blackford. The Archivist Society was formed to help individuals who can’t or haven’t been helped by Scotland Yard. It was in one such investigation that Georgia met the Duke of Blackford.

Over the course of the books in the series the Duke has wooed Georgia. He had a time convincing her that she could still be who she really was and be his Duchess at the same time. Finally, in the last book he managed to convince her to marry him! I was so excited – and now – this book brings us to the wedding – so – what trouble can Georgia get into with only a few days left until the wedding . . . .

Eight days before her wedding, Georgia gets a visit from Eugenie Munroe who begs her to find Greyson Burke who is an investigator for the crown. Georgia is itching for something to do in order to keep her mind off the upcoming wedding, but after she hears Eugenie’s tale, Georgia is sure she won’t be able to solve it before the wedding and will only agree to taking on the case if she can involve all of the Archivist Society in the case.

Eugenie had been in Egypt with her uncle who had been tasked to solve the robbery of gold coins valued at over a million pounds. Eugenie’s uncle had been murdered in the course of the investigation and she and Greyson had taken up the task of finding who had committed the murder.

Several murders and an ocean crossing later, the investigation lands on English soil. However, Greyson has disappeared and Eugenie has no idea where to turn – so – she turns to Georgia Fenchurch.

As Georgia investigates, there are attacks upon Eugenie and later on Georgia. Then there are more murders and many, many suspects. Then add abductions and more threats of murder before all is solved. Goodness what an exciting ride through the twists and turns of a delightful investigation.

Then, of course, we have the wedding. Oh! what a romantic time that is. Blackford’s wedding gift to Georgia absolutely could not be any more perfect. My goodness my heart was all aflutter!

I highly recommend this book and hope it delights you as much as it did me!

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Murder On Black Swan Lane By Andrea Penrose

Murder on Black Swan Lane (Quill Mystery, #1)Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Quill Mystery #1
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

An impeccably written, exciting, intriguing, engrossingly tangled and twisted regency mystery. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. The characters are fully developed and deep with flaws and secrets I’m sure we’ll learn more about as the series goes on. I am so very excited that this is a series and we will get to know them all better. If you are a fan of Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries, you will absolutely LOVE this one.

This is the first book I have read by Andrea Penrose or any of her other pen names — Cara Elliott for Grand Central and Andrea Pickens for NAL, but I can’t wait to read more of this series and to also check out her other Regency mystery series.

I have to admit that my two favorite characters in the book are the two street urchins – Raven and Hawk. They are intelligent and wise beyond their years and even though they have lived their lives, alone, in the stews of St. Giles, they still have sweet and innocent hearts. It will be interesting to see if, over time, they give up being street urchins and let Charlotte care for them.

Since the series is named Quill Mystery, I assume that the main character will be Charlotte Sloane, also known as A. J. Quill. She is the most popular satirical cartoonist in England, but she must guard her identity and gender. She is very intelligent, feisty and not afraid of anything – at least she thinks she isn’t. One of the facts that is uncovered in this mystery is the facts behind the death of her talented artist husband Anthony. She also has another, even bigger, secret in her past and it is hinted at, but not revealed in this book.

The Earl of Wrexford has a brilliant, logical scientific mind and thinks he is incapable of any of the softer feelings. He is also a brilliant chemist – although he keeps that part of his life well hidden. All is logic with Wrexford. So, when everyone thinks he’s the person who murdered a Reverend he’s been publicly feuding with, he decides that he must solve the murder in order to save himself. His first order of business is to uncover the identity of A. J. Quill who has been skewering him in cartoons. The drawings are absolutely too accurate and therefore the artist must know something. There is also some hinted mystery with the death of Wrexford’s brother and I came to feel as if that was what caused Wrexford to close himself off from the softer feelings in life.

Although there is no romance in this book between Charlotte and Wrexford, they do develop a friendship and I hope it will develop into a romance over the course of the series. We do see a bit of ‘softening’ in Wrexford over the course of the book.

The secondary characters in the book are also great and it will be fun to watch their growth over the course of the series. There is Wrexford’s valet cum lab assistant who is smart and sassy. Then, there is Wrexford’s friend who is always short of funds and isn’t thought to be particularly intelligent. We also have a Scot doctor who does the autopsies and is gifted at interpreting what he is finding – Oh shades of St. Cyr Mysteries with their Scot anatomist.

The mystery is full of twists and turns and people with intertwining plots. You’ll have a time figuring out who murderer is and how all of the plots fit together.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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