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A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #1)

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  203 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
In this exciting historical mystery debut set in Victorian England, a wealthy young widow encounters the pleasures—and scandalous pitfalls—of a London social season . . .

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. After an obligatory year spent mourning her philandering husband, Reggie, she puts aside her dra
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Carrie
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman is the first book in the A Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. This series is a bit of a different take on the average cozy mystery in that it has a historical setting mixing both genres wonderfully.

Frances Wynn is an American that was born to a wealthy family that found herself in an arranged marriage to her husband, Reggie, that brought Frances the title of the Countess of Harleigh and her husband access to her family funds. In the begi
...more
Umut Rados
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can describe this book very shortly, it's like Downton Abbey in a book :) I'm a fan of Downton Abbey and it certainly reminded me of the setting, characters and life style I was watching there. Even some details were the same, so I'm wondering if the writer took 'inspiration' from there.
It was a really cute, cozy mystery set in London. Our protagonist is the Countess of Harleigh. She's an American, who married into British aristocracy bringing her father's money into the family. Suddenly one
...more
Kester Grant
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hist-mystery
The first in a start to a fantastic mystery series, starring the delightfully acid witted Frances - exactly the type of heroine I adore. By turns hilarious and swoon-worthy and constantly keeping you guessing, I can't wait to read the sequel!
Mary Keliikoa
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book on so many levels. I have not been a huge historical mystery reader, but this book has changed my view. I fell in love with the Victorian time period, and with Frances--who is a woman with a mind of her own. Her personality and wit shines throughout. There were moments I was laughing out loud and others where the writer had me concerned about the welfare of the characters I had come to love. The mystery was so well-plotted, I didn't know until the final reveal who was guilty, a ...more
Suanne
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dianne Freeman’s debut novel, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, is a witty romp of a Victorial mystery. The heroine, Frances, is a recently widowed and coming out of mourning for her dead rake-of-husband. She is surprisingly perspicacious and her struggles with propriety and her journey to independence is delightful. There is an understated chemistry between her and the hero, that is smoldering before bursting into flame. The mystery is well-plotted and full of twists. Freeman does an exce ...more
Jennifer Klepper
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've missed Downton Abbey so very much. Thankfully, the witty and fast-paced "A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder" has helped fill the aching void. When American heiress Frances Wynn becomes a widow in 1899 after the death of her philandering Earl of a husband, she decides to risk British society gossip by living independent of her dead husband's money-grubbing family. Deception, romance, and scandal ensue, keeping this reader enthralled until the very end. This smart, tightly-written mystery ...more
JoAn
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman was an excellent start to what I hope will be a long running historical cozy mystery series.

Ms. Freeman introduces us to the recently widowed Countess of Harleigh, Frances Wynn. She is a surprisingly strong young woman for Victorian times who has come into her own now that she is a widow and intends to enjoy her life with her daughter. The descriptive writing of London and the characters made me feel like I was there with Frances as she in
...more
Melissa17
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is the mysterious historical romp of your dreams! Frances is just starting to come into her own as an independent woman, so her push/pull of propriety v. independence is a joy to behold. The mystery is well plotted and paced and the descriptions of Victorian fashion in this novel are to die for. (Pun intended.) This is the start of an incredible series!
Lana Pattinson
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read a pre-published copy.

If you like the Victorian era, laughing, and headstrong heroines, this book is for you.

It’s a tightly plotted romp of a mystery that will keep you guessing to the end!

Can’t wait for a second book from Dianne Freeman.
Cheryl
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew this story would be the perfect fun read as soon as I saw the books cover. What an eye catcher :) From the minute I started this book, Dianne Freemans storyline left me wanting the book to never end!
I loved Francis...she is the perfect heroine; funny, witty, independent. Her adventures when she reaches London (and in the time of her cheating husbands death) are written with wit and made me laugh more than once.
The characters are well developed, and the story has everything you could want
...more
Bethany Swafford
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Frances, Countess of Harleigh, moves her small household to London to escape the demands of her in-laws. Almost immediately, her life gets turned upside down when police approach her with questions about how her husband died, her younger sister arrives to be launched into society, her bank account is frozen from her brother-in-law attempting to claim her money, and a string of jewelry thefts happening all over society.

I absolutely adored Frances. Her practical attitude in spite of whatever she f
...more
Caroline
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. A rule-following, yet feisty heroine who discovers her own strength and sense of purpose as shocking events unfold all around her. Plus an excessively charming next door neighbor leaves plenty of opportunity in the future. I was thoroughly engaged in this one, and sincerely hope there is indeed a 2nd Lady Harleigh mystery!

I received a copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Nicki K.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After enduring a year-long mourning period with her gold-digging in-laws, Frances Wynn is eager to make her way to London with her seven-year-old daughter and settle down. Within a week she faces an accusatory inspector, the unexpected arrival of her sister's first Season, and the news of a series of home break-ins. To top it off, she finds out her new neighbor is the handsome George Hazelton, someone with w
...more
Sheri
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderfully fun read! I love historical mysteries and this one was just great. The protagonist, a recently widowed member of the aristocracy (an American, at that!), who lives in the very late 19th century, in England, finds herself embroiled in not one, but several mysteries. The author does an excellent job of character and plot development. I had no problem getting into the story. I love that you don't necessarily know the culprits. You're discovering things right along with Frances. T ...more
Yasmyn
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I started "A Lady's Guide," I knew it was right up my alley. If you're a fan of Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series or Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby mysteries, you will love this as much as I did. Personally, I'm always looking for more series in this vein, and many of the others I've read tend to fall short. But Dianne Freeman brings Victorian London to life with her delightful prose. I also loved that her clever heroine happens to be an American who married into the aristocracy, which ...more
Minerva Spencer
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love historical mysteries and especially when they are humorous and well-written! Freeman does a great job of making you feel like you've stepped back in time and the turn of the century was a fascinating era where life was changing incredibly fast.

Francis is an American heiress who married a deadbeat (emphasis on the dead part) English earl. But she's a widow who is ready to embrace life (and what is left of her money).

I think it takes deft writing to craft an historical mystery that avoids a
...more
Emily
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic Victorian cozy mystery with a fun cast of characters. I can't wait to read more books in this series!
Heike
Frances, a widowed American heiress, finds herself in a tumble of robbery, deceiving, and murder after she leaves the household of her late husband to start a life of her own. With the help of her new neighbor and not really welcomed old acquaintance George she gets caught up in investigating the suspects, who are also the suitors of her younger sister.

This novel was refreshingly entertaining, with a female protagonist who was funny in a tongue-in-cheek way without being the inept or helpless he
...more
Gabrielle David
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are times I wish I lived in a kinder, gentler, time – say Queen Victoria’s England. So I transport myself with a cozy historical mystery and am quickly reminded that, even for the upper classes, things weren’t always kind or gentle.

Such is the case in A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman, a first novel I hope will become a series.

Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, widowed young, is living with her brother-in-law and his wife, resisting their attempts
...more
Ova Incekaraoglu
What a fabulous find this book was for me! I loved and enjoyed it. If it wasn't a friend's recommendation I wouldn't have requested to read it on Netgalley.
I really enjoyed the idea of independent women in an age of female dependency on male relatives. Our heroine Frances is not short of bravery or wit!
If the book was a tad shorter I'd happily mark it 5 stars but there were stretches that was a bit *yawn* . Still a great book, nice and interesting characters, solid and satisfying plot.
A truly up
...more
Caroline
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. A rule-following, yet feisty heroine who discovers her own strength and sense of purpose as shocking events unfold all around her. Plus an excessively charming next door neighbor leaves plenty of opportunity in the future. I was thoroughly engaged in this one, and sincerely hope there is indeed a 2nd Lady Harleigh mystery!

I received a copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
H D Elliott
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fast-paced, super fun historical mystery. I loved the twist of having the heroine be an American who married into the British peerage; it made the book feel fresh. I got to read this book pre-publication, and I can't wait for there to be more in the series!
Rima Aiello
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful trip into the past with a touch of mystery! I normally do not like historical mysteries, but this novel was so well written I couldn't put it down. The characters were great, just enough lightheartedness, and a solid mystery! A great start to a new series.
Leslie
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
This was a funny mystery, not too heavy but kept you guessing. The story centers around an American heiress around the turn of the century (1900s) who finds herself widowed with a young child. While she is wealthy in her own right, she has her brother-in-law and his wife living in her midst with their hands out. The widow strikes out on her own after a year of mourning to break the hand-out cycle with her in-laws and begin to live life anew as an independent single mother in an era where titles ...more
Jessi
What's more embarrassing than your husband dying in his mistress's bed? Having it happen at a house party you're hosting. Oh, and then having to bring in another man to carry your husband back to his bed so it doesn't appear as if anything scandalous has happened.
Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, has spent a year in mourning for said husband and now she's ready to get out of his family's house and away from the brother-in-law who just wants to get ahold of her money. So she moves to London. To
...more
Jane
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful Victorian mystery with a touch of romance. I’m not an expert but it seemed true to the times. The plot took some twists I didn't see coming, and the narrator/main character is a sympathetic heroine. I look forward to a sequel.

I read an advance reader copy of A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder.
QNPoohBear
Frances Wynn, Lady Harleigh, is happy to shed mourning for her wastrel husband. After all, he died in another woman's bed so why should she mourn him? Frances is also excited to be making her own plans to escape her greedy brother-in-law and his wife who want to get their hands on her money. Fortunately, as an American, her father doesn't have the same notions of family the English do and settled his money on Frances alone. She decides to take her young daughter and move to fashionable Belgravia ...more
Lesa
Diane Freeman's debut Countess of Harleigh mystery, A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder, was enchanting. It's a suspenseful story with appealing characters, and a courageous amateur sleuth. Actually, it was just fun.

Frances Price was a commoner, an American who brought one million dollars to her marriage into the Wynn family. But, her husband, Reggie, wasn't at all what she expected. He really was a philandering cad. Bed-hopping may be a sport of the aristocracy in Victorian England, but the
...more
Eeva
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book form the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Oh such a good book!
After few books that were just meh this one was a very nice change.
I liked the characters and the plot and how the main chcracter wasn't talking/behaving/thinking like a modern woman thrown into regency era.
I'm excited for the next book in the series!!!
Amy
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Did you ever what would happen if Janet Evanovich wrote Sherlock Holmes mysteries? Wish you could watch more Downton Abbey? You’re going to love this cozy, light-hearted murder mystery! Our heroine is Frances Wynn, an American who doesn’t quite fit in Victorian London. When a string of thefts occurs among her aristocratic friends, first they faint, but then work together to figure it out. You’ve got some zany moments -- my favorite was when she’s out spying one night in her black widow’s dress. ...more
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PitchWarriors!: Giveaway 1 11 Apr 29, 2018 11:06AM  
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Dianne Freeman is a life-long book lover who left the world of corporate finance to pursue her passion for writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, she realized her true love was fiction, historical mystery in particular. She also realized she didn’t like winter very much so now she and her husband pursue the endless summer by splitting their time ...more
More about Dianne Freeman

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