It’s a Cozy Prizes Friday! Let’s get together at the country house this weekend? What do you say? That’s what’s happening in the Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder. I love this series because Diane Freeman beautifully blends the best of regency and the best of cozy! There’s a giveaway below so be sure and look for the prize guy. I am delighted to Diane visiting us today with a guest post from Diane telling us all about her newest mystery.
Some Words From Diane:
Many thanks to Teresa Trent for having me on her blog today to celebrate the release of A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder. This is the third book in the Countess of Harleigh mystery series. The historical mysteries feature Frances Wynn, former American heiress and widow to the Earl of Harleigh. Frances has more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife, but sadly little money and no salable skills—well, there’s one. She knows all the ins and outs of aristocratic society and it turns out other American heiresses are willing to pay for Frances’ sponsorship. Who knew introducing young ladies to society would involve a murder or two?
Of course, this was all done with the utmost discretion. A woman of Frances’ standing couldn’t involve herself in anything that smacked of trade or business. That was far too middle-class. But could she help it if the families of these young ladies gifted her with a lovely check or expensive bauble?
The murder part was a little more difficult to navigate. In Frances’ time, investigating crime is a man’s world. No one would take her seriously if she simply began canvassing the neighborhood. She had to insinuate herself into the investigation and use a completely different set of skills and associates than the police did. Servants knew everything about their employers and were an excellent source of information. What they didn’t know, Frances and her circle of gossiping friends would find out. Few people said no to a countess.
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder takes place outside the London social whirl. Instead we travel to Hampshire for a country house party—a staple of Victorian social life.
I couldn’t resist the lure of a Victorian country house party and only wish I could attend one myself. Instead, I created one for my characters to enjoy. It’s October, so, of course, the gentlemen are shooting, but there’s no shortage of amusements for the ladies either—riding, a visit to the village, rambling across the extensive grounds, or challenging the maze. There are picnic luncheons and archery competitions, mysterious accidents, and murder! But of course, you knew that. What’s a country house party without a murder?
About A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder
In Dianne Freeman’s charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister’s wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance.
London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host—or hide—any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily’s imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton’s family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits—shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens.
But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it’s not simply the arrival of Frances’s socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, mysterious accidents befall guests and staff alike. Before long, Frances suspects these “accidents” are deliberate, and fears that the intended victim is Lily’s fiancé, Leo. Frances’s mother is unimpressed by Lily’s groom-to-be and would much prefer that Lily find an aristocratic husband, just as Frances did. But now that Frances has found happiness with George—a man who loves her for much more than her dowry—she heartily approves of Lily’s choice. If she can just keep the couple safe from villains and meddling mamas.
As Frances and George search for the culprit among the assembled family, friends, and servants, more victims fall prey to the mayhem. Mishaps become full-blooded murder, and it seems that no one is safe. And unless Frances can quickly flush out the culprit, the peal of wedding bells may give way to another funeral toll. . . .
About Dianne Freeman
Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. She is an Agatha Award and Lefty Award finalist, as well as a nominee for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award from Mystery Writers of America. She spent thirty years working in corporate accounting and finance and now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband now split their time between Michigan and Arizona. Visit her at difreeman.com.
Website – www.difreeman.com