A LADY’S GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND MURDER
By Dianne Freeman
This, Freeman’s cool debut novel, picked up a 2018 Agatha for “Best First Novel.” If that is not sufficient enough to make you want to read the book, then you should also know that this novel is set in two wonderful realms: Victorian England and New York High Society.
Frances Wynn, American-born Countess of Harleigh, is still recovering from the death of her husband, Reggie. He died as he lived, a philanderer with a roving eye in the arms of his mistress, which makes this even more distressing for the widow. However, Frances isn’t surprised. After all, she was well aware their marriage was nothing more than a sham; he was simply from a rich American family who was brought in to aid an English aristocrat whose family money was dwindling.
Once he died, Frances freed herself from her money-grubbing relatives and established a home of her own in London—far away from the old, stuffy country estate. She is just about to welcome her younger sister, Lily, into town, who is staying with Frances to enjoy her first London season.
In the midst of choosing a suitor for her sister, Frances receives distressing news: Scotland Yard is now considering Reggie’s death “suspicious” and believes that a young gentleman caller of Lily’s may have been involved in the murder. Dissatisfied with the lack of speed and progress being made by the local law, Frances takes it upon herself to solve the mystery while also keeping her own wealth of secrets hidden from view.
The next book in this series is on its way, thankfully, so it’s nice to know that there will be more to satisfy our reading pleasure very soon.