A season in London promises a welcome change of pace for two friends from the village of Kurland St. Mary - until murder makes a debut. With the reluctant blessings of their father, the rector of Kurland St. Mary, Lucy Harrington and her sister Anna leave home for a social season in London. At the same time, Lucy's special friend Major Robert Kurland is summoned to the city to accept a baronetcy for his wartime heroism. Amidst the dizzying whirl of balls and formal dinners, the focus shifts from mixing and matchmaking to murder when the dowager Countess of Broughton, the mother of an old army friend of Robert, drops dead. When it's revealed she's been poisoned, Robert's former betrothed, Miss Chingford, is accused, and she in turn points a finger at Anna. To protect her sister, Lucy enlists Robert's aid in drawing out the true culprit. But with suspects ranging from resentful rivals and embittered family members to the toast of the ton, it will take all their sleuthing skills to unmask the poisoner before more trouble is stirred up.
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A Delightful Story of Murder in London 1816
Delicately paced mystery/romance
Catherine Lloyd has a lovely voice and in her narration, captures the stifling constricts of society in the Regency period. Acknowledging that, I still think the speed could be increased a bit. I did, for instance, play it on double speed for a bit and had no problem understanding it.
I would recommend it as a enjoyable escapist read with two main characters that are both infuriating and engaging.
The reader has to wait for awhile until the mystery part of the novel begins. I would prefer a bit more emphasis on the mystery and less on the burgeoning romance. Another reviewer pointed out that some of the behaviours portrayed are unlikely given the rigid social order of the day but, for me, it's almost necessary to inject some anachronism in order that the female characters are able to do anything more interesting than sitting quietly and gossiping.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.