Bright Young Dead (The Mitford Murders)

Written by Jessica Fellowes
Review by Susan McDuffie

Louisa Cannon, reformed criminal, nursery maid, and erstwhile chaperone for the Mitford girls, befriends another maid, Dulcie Long. Dulcie claims she needs to speak to one of the Mitfords’ guests, Adrian Curtis, and begs Louisa to allow her access to the family bedrooms during a party. A short time later that night Dulcie is discovered next to a very dead Adrian Curtis, her pockets full of stolen jewels. The police quickly arrest Dulcie for theft and murder.

Louisa, convinced Dulcie is innocent, investigates, aided at times by Nancy and Pamela Mitford. Meanwhile in London Louisa’s friend, Policeman Guy Sullivan, investigates a renowned ring of female burglars. In time the two investigations converge—but will Guy and Louisa uncover the truth in time to save Dulcie from hanging?

This book, the second of the series, could better be called a “Louisa Cannon” mystery than a Mitford mystery. However, the settings of 1920s London and English country life ring true, and the illustrious Mitford family provides a pleasant backdrop. Fans of Downton Abbey and Golden Age mysteries should enjoy this read.