A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery)

Written by Dianne Freeman
Review by India Edghill

Set at the end of the Victorian era, this cozy mystery stars the widowed Frances, Countess of Harleigh; one of the many Americans who married into the British aristocracy. Forthright and intelligent, Frances also has a knack for solving mysteries—a skill that comes in handy at a country house party that seems all too prone to mishaps. When one of the servants dies of poisoning, Frances and her new fiancé, George Hazleton, are sure it’s no accident. Further “accidents” make it all too clear that murder is indeed what the perpetrator has planned. Who the intended victim is isn’t clear, which makes solving the crimes even more difficult.

But Frances is determined to find the killer before another murder attempt succeeds.

Aided by George, she uses her talent for investigation and her knowledge of people to resolve the mystery and ensure the safety of her friends and family.

Set against the background of a luxurious English country house, peopled by the titled upper class and their (frequently more interesting) downstairs counterparts, A Lady’s Guide… is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon (preferably with tea and scones). It’s an enjoyable, easy read, and the mystery is worked out cleverly, and to a satisfying conclusion.