Friday, June 4, 2021

A Fiancee's Guide to First Wives and Murder - A Review


The Fourth Countess of Harleigh Mystery
Moments after Frances, the Countess of Harleigh, sees her mother and daughter off for a trip to Paris Inspector Delaney shows up her door with a young woman in tow. The woman makes a variety of outrageous claims, the most shocking being that she is the wife George Hazelton. The very same George Hazelton to whom Frances is engaged.
In A FIANCEE'S GUIDE TO FIRST WIVES AND MURDER readers are introduced to Irena. What a character! Her revelations had me stunned and slack-jawed. And angry. Angry that Frances was forced to deal with her. And stunned again when Irena was murdered! (I guess I didn't read the back cover.) As bad as she made Frances' life, her death made it even worse. In order to remain a respectable member of society, Frances and George must sort out the truths in Irena's stories in order to identify her killer. Considering that most people who spent more than five minutes with Irena, or even five minutes reading about her, would want to kill her, their task is quite difficult.

I've always loved reading novels set in Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian England, but I am quite glad not to have actually lived back then! Even if I was lucky enough to be born into the upper classes, I don't think I'd deal well with with the social mores and rules. The Countess of Harleigh did nothing wrong, if anything, she was wronged, and yet she was almost made a social pariah. How Frances is able to weave her way through society, despite its pitfalls, is admirable and smart. There are plenty of surprises in this fourth Countess of Harleigh Mystery, keeping readers on their toes.

A FIANCEE'S GUIDE TO FIRST WIVES AND MURDER is a thoroughly enjoyable, compelling, page-turning mystery that focuses on appearances, societal rules, and the consequences of ignoring them. A delightful book, providing many laughs, it ignited my emotions making me at times angry, worried, and ultimately happy.

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