A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery)

Written by Dianne Freeman
Review by Fiona Alison

Fans of this Victorian mystery series will be delighted that Frances, widowed Countess of Harleigh, has finally married her gallant sweetheart, George Hazelton. In book five, Frances and George are all set to leave on their honeymoon when James Connor, an American businessman, is found dead in his home next door to the wedding breakfast venue.  Frances’s brother, Alonzo, is top of the suspect list, but among the wedding guests there are a number of suspects, including Connor’s wife. As the investigation proceeds, Frances realizes some members of her family, though they may not have caused the death, are withholding information about those who might have.

This cozy mystery series takes a not-too-serious look at the idiosyncrasies of upper-class Victorian life. The novel sparkles with expert dialogue and interesting insight into love and loyalty to husband and family. The personalities of the characters are key, and we are privy to a heart-warming relationship of mutual understanding and respect between Frances and George, who have been such jolly good sports about postponing their honeymoon. Readers who enjoy gently paced mysteries will be well satisfied.