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A lady's guide to gossip and murder. [Bk. 2] / Dianne Freeman.

By: Freeman, Dianne, 1958-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Freeman, Dianne, Countess of Harleigh mystery: 1.Publisher: New York : Kensignton ; [2019]Copyright date: �2019Edition: First Kensington Trade Paperback Edition.Description: 293 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781496716910; 1496716914.Subject(s): Widows -- Fiction | Debutantes -- Fiction | Murder -- Investigation -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and Mystery Fiction. | Mystery Fiction.DDC classification: [Fic] Summary: Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting?for birds or a second husband?and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns. Instead, she?s immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight?along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society?s elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits? Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all?but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she?ll soon find herself among them . . .
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting-for birds or a second husband-and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns.

Instead, she's immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight-along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society's elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits?

Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all-but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she'll soon find herself among them . . .

"Engrossing . . . Freeman takes a witty look at Victorian polite society. Historical mystery fans will be delighted."
- Publishers Weekly

Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting?for birds or a second husband?and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns. Instead, she?s immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight?along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society?s elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits? Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all?but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she?ll soon find herself among them . . .

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Set in 1899 London, Freeman's engrossing sequel to 2018's A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder finds American-born Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, settling happily into her independent life as a widow. Two relatives and a close friend are visiting from New York, and, as an added bonus, Frances's relationship with her charming neighbor, George Hazelton, is beginning to take a distinctively romantic turn. Frances recently introduced Charles Evingdon, her genial cousin-by-marriage, to widow Mary Archer, thinking the two would make a good match, so she's disappointed when she learns that Charles and Mary have called it quits. Her disappointment turns to alarm when Mary is murdered and Charles becomes the prime suspect. When Frances teams with George and Charles to find the real culprit, they discover that Mary was the anonymous author of a newspaper gossip column. Was she also a blackmailer who threatened to expose something worth killing for? Freeman takes a witty look at Victorian polite society. Historical mystery fans will be delighted. Agent: Melissa Edwards, Stonesong Literary. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

The widowed Countess of Harleigh, Frances Wynn, had planned to spend the last few weeks of summer 1899 relaxing in London until the rest of high society returned from the country, but that all has changed with the scandalous murder of Mary Archer, a member of the aristocracy and Frances' friend. Suddenly, Frances finds herself using the access her status as a widowed countess provides to launch an investigation of her own. With gossip spreading through the drawing rooms of London at an ever-accelerating rate, Frances fuels the fire of wagging tongues just enough to unmask the killer. The full cast of talkative aristocrats, the lighthearted tone, and the fast pace will keep readers actively engaged. This would make a wonderful introduction to cozy mysteries for fans of Regency or Victorian romance, and it will also hit the mark for followers of Elizabeth Peters and Deanna Raybourn.--Shoshana Frank Copyright 2019 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A Victorian lady's pleasant life is disrupted by the murder of an acquaintance.Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, lost her husbandand almost her money and her lifein a well-hidden scandal (A Lady's Guide To Etiquette and Murder, 2018). She doesn't miss her husband, who died in another woman's bed; her money has been restored; and she now lives happily in London with her clever Aunt Hetty, her daughter, Rose, her sister, Lily, and Lily's visiting friend, Lottie. Frances has recently introduced her husband's cousin Charles Evingdon, one of his few relatives she likes, to widowed Mary Archer. Soon after he announces that they don't suit each other, Mary is found murdered. Inspector Delaney, questioning Frances about the friendship, shows her a note with information about her battle with her brother-in-law over money, something only a few close friends know about. Once Frances mentions Evingdon's connection with Mary, he immediately becomes a suspect, especially since he drove past her house on the night of the murder. Frances enjoys a mutual affection with George Hazelton, who helped her escape with her reputation intact when her husband died. Because George has connections in high places, he's been given files hidden at Mary's home that show she'd been collecting information ranging from harmless gossip to more dangerous secrets. The possibility that Mary was a blackmailer reveals ranks upon ranks of suspects. So George enlists Frances to go through the shorthand files. Since Hetty is busy with financial matters and Lily on plans for an engagement party, Frances asks Lottie for help. She finds her remarkably proficient in digging up information in search of alibis for people Mary had investigated. The gossip columns written by a Miss Information that Lottie's saved seem based on Mary's less scandalous files. Which of her more sensitive secrets fomented murder?A charming period mystery with enough sexual tension and credible suspects to keep the reader guessing. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.