The newly married and most beautiful of the Mitford sisters, Diana, hot-steps around Europe with her husband and fortune heir Bryan Guinness, accompanied by maid Louisa Cannon, as well as some of the most famous and glamorous luminaries of the era. But murder soon follows, and with it, a darkness grows in Diana’s heart….
This is third book in the series involving the Mitford Sisters, another great historical mystery written by Ms Fellowes. I have read book one in the series but still have book two to read. I find these books to be well researched historically and the historical characters are always well written and just feel real, like you know them. This book involves Diana Mitford it’s set is the 1920’s-30’s.
Louisa Cannon had left the employ of the Mitford’s and is working in London, she is hoping to become a policewoman, but this is just not meant to be. So she is now earning a very low income as a seamstress and a maid. Louisa is working at a fashionable society party when a maid falls to her death through a skylight, it looks to be a tragic accident. At this party is Diana Mitford who is now 18 years old and Bryan Guinness heir to a fortune who proposes to Diana.
Louisa ends up being Diane’s Lady’s maid after the couple are married. They travel to Paris, Venice and London and through the eyes of Louisa we get to know the fashion, the music, and the culture of the time, along with characters from this time such as Evelyn Waugh.
The crowd around Diana are all rich, with a social whirl of parties where drugs are easily acquired. When in Paris, a rich young man dies of what is to believed to be a sesame seed allergy, ruled as an unforeseen tragic death.
Guy Sullivan the young train policeman that Louisa met in the first book in the series, who she seemed so keen on and vice versa, is now a DS and is in Paris to see Louisa, they haven’t seen each other for some time and he still misses her, although he is now engaged. With Guy, is his best friend, Harry who is now married to PC Mary Moon they are there looking for a woman missing from London, Rose Morgan, she is believed to be in Paris.
The longer Louise works for Diane the less and less she likes her, but when they are in Venice yet another death happens, Louise starts to wonder if these deaths are actually murders.
This is a well researched and well thought out story, following some of the real life things that the Mitford sisters got up to in their times. The society circles the sisters mingled with, they were intensely followed by the media constantly. The Mitford’s attracted a lot of attention, especially with the scandals that followed them. I love the way Louisa is used to tell the stories, and the murder mysteries that both Louisa and DS Guy Sullivan untangle, they add the suspense and tension. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
I have really enjoyed the two books I have read in this series I need to go back and pick up the second book as I may be missing a few bits that happened between one and three certainly regarding Louisa and Guy.
These are what I like to think of as cozy mysteries good to curl up with in between the gritty thrillers and crime novels I also love. I would definitely recommend this book and any of the others in the series.
I would like to thank netgalley and Sphere publishers for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review
Jessica Fellowes is an author, journalist and public speaker, best known for her works of five official companion books to Downton Abbey. Jessica has spoken at events across the UK and US, and has made numerous appearances on radio and television. She lives happily in London and Oxfordshire with her family, an energetic Labradoodle and two chickens.