The Mitford Vanishing (The Mitford Murders 5)

Written by Jessica Fellowes
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

Fifth in The Mitford Murders series, this is set in 1937, and Louisa, former nursemaid for the Mitford family, is starting a new career as a private detective, as business partner of her husband, an ex-police Detective Inspector. Their first case starts with a message from Nancy Mitford. The youngest, Jessica (known as Decca), has gone missing. There are indications that she’s run away to France and, considering her strong Communist beliefs, her family worries that she’s heading for Spain and the Civil War.

It is difficult to blend a fictional mystery with historical fact, but the real-life exploits of the six Mitford sisters, wealthy, sheltered and politically at odds, give plenty of scope. Mix in Louisa’s political naiveté, her husband Guy’s distrust of the Establishment, and a healthy dose of good, clear writing, and the line between fact and fiction blurs. There is a bit of coincidence in events that might bear questioning but, overall, this is an entertaining read. From our vantage point, it is fair to say that we would also be innocent of the then nuances of the Spanish Civil War too.