A Review of A LADY'S GUIDE TO GOSSIP AND MURDER by Dianne Freeman


Frances Wynn is back in A LADY'S GUIDE TO GOSSIP AND MURDER. The novel is the second in the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series by Dianne Freeman, and it will be published on June 25th 2019 by Kensington.

Frances Wynn was hoping to enjoy a few quiet, summer months spent with her family, but, instead, she finds herself caught up in another murder investigation. After Mary Archer is found strangled in her home, Frances’s cousin jumps to the top of the police’s suspect list because he had recently been courting the victim. Frances – along with her dashing neighbor George Hazelton – help the police with the murder investigation by digging deeper into Mary’s life and her vast collection of gossip concerning England’s upper class. Frances learns more about her peers’ private lives than she had ever wanted to know. The question is which one of them was willing to kill two people to protect his or her secret?

I absolutely loved A LADY'S GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND MURDER, and I was equally delighted by A LADY'S GUIDE TO GOSSIP AND MURDER. Freeman brings Victorian-era London to life. And France Wynn remains my current favorite historical, amateur sleuth. She is witty, intelligent, and independent. And the secondary characters are intriguing and likable as well. George Hazelton remains the perfect partner and love interest for Frances. As a Victoria-era lady, Frances is limited by society in what she can do and how far she can go with her investigation. George is able to step in where Frances cannot, and his unclear link to the government allows him to get involved in police investigations more than the average man. I expect great things from France’s and George’s relationship/partnership. I was also happy to see that Frances’s sister and aunt were back in the second novel. And the klutzy Lottie is a wonderful addition to the cast of characters.

A LADY'S GUIDE TO GOSSIP AND MURDER is full of suspense, humor, and romance. The murder investigation was unique, and the suspect and the motive kept me guessing until the end. Unlike some historical amateur sleuths, Frances – a countess and member of England’s upper class – has valid reasons for getting involved in the murder investigation. The victim was a friend, and her cousin is the leading suspect. Also, the majority of her investigation remained reasonably within an English’s lady’s limited lifestyle. Frances’s investigation involved speaking with her peers and reading over the victim’s notes about the salacious actions of her peers.

I am a huge fan of Frances Wynn, and I look forward to the next novel in the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for the ARC.