book cover of A Fiancee\'s Guide to First Wives and Murder
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A Fiancee's Guide to First Wives and Murder

(2021)
(The fourth book in the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series)
A novel by

 
 
The “dazzling” (Publishers Weekly) and “highly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews) series by award-winning author Dianne Freeman continues with another engaging romp through Victorian high society, as the American-born Countess of Harleigh investigates murder among the aristocracy. An entertaining read for fans of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and of the Gilded Age.

For Frances Wynn, widow to the late Earl of Harleigh, life has a cosmopolitan flavor of late. No sooner has she sent her mother and daughter off on a shopping trip to Paris than she and her fiancé, George Hazelton, are socializing with visiting members of the Russian royal family. Amid this whirlwind, scandal also comes calling when Inspector Delaney turns up outside Frances’s house with a young French woman with a shocking claim:
she is Mrs. George Hazelton.
 
As the
future Mrs. George Hazelton, Frances assumes the woman is either lying or demented. “Mrs. Hazelton,” aka Irena, makes other outrageous statements. Among them, she insists that she is the illegitimate daughter of Russian royalty, that she has been abducted many times, and that someone is sending her threatening letters. When George arrives, he clarifies that he is certainly not married to Irena—though he can confirm her royal parentage. But even as he agrees to investigate whether Irena’s life is in danger, her claim proves tragically true. Irena is found strangled in Frances’s garden.
 
To uncover a killer—and clear their own names—Frances and George must determine which of Irena’s outlandish stories were based in fact. And as the search reaches a shocking conclusion, they may find that villainy lurks all too close to home . . .

“Freeman delivers it all: clever plotting, charming characters, plausible suspects, and red herrings galore. This historical is pure unadulterated fun.”
—Publishers Weekly
 


Genre: Cozy Mystery

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