From the author of the critically acclaimed Kurland St. Mary series, this new historical mystery series is “a charming cross between a Regency romance and a well‑constructed detective story” (Kirkus Reviews), and will appeal to fans of Victoria Thompson and Deanna Raybourn.
Lady Caroline is happy to be back amid the swirl of London society, guiding her employer’s daughter, Dorothy Frogerton, through her first Season. Dorothy has been declared “an original” by a patron of the exclusive social club, Almack’s, and is sifting through potential suitors. Mrs. Frogerton, meanwhile, finds her own diversions, including spiritualist gatherings at the home of Madam Lavinia, and begs Caroline to come along.
Caroline is skeptical of Madam’s antics and faux French accent—until she slips a note into Caroline’s hand, which contains intimate family knowledge. Even as Caroline tries to discern whether the spiritualist’s powers are real, a much darker mystery presents itself. Madam Lavinia is found lifeless in her chair, a half-empty glass of port at her elbow. In her desk is a note addressed to Caroline, entreating her to find her murderer.
Caroline needs no psychic abilities to determine a motive, for it seems that Madam was blackmailing some of her clients and has left a trail of aggrieved aristocrats behind. But as Caroline and Mrs. Frogerton investigate further, they find other suspects, and a litany of deceptions, some very close to home. Now Caroline will need to keep all her wits about her if she is to stop others from joining Madam Lavinia in the afterlife . . .
This lively historical cozy from Lloyd (a sequel to 2022's Miss Morton and the English House Party Murder) centers on Lady Caroline Morton, whose reduced financial and social circumstances in 1838 London have led her to become a paid companion to the irrepressible widow Mrs. Frogerton. When Mrs. Frogerton's interest in spiritualism brings the pair to the home of medium Madam Lavinia, Caroline is skeptical of the woman's powers. At the end of the evening, however, Lavinia passes Caroline a note containing intimate details about her childhood. A short time later, Caroline and her friend, Dr. Harris, return to Madam Lavinia's for a reading and find her murdered. Because the last people to see her alive were members of high society, the police are eager to pin the crime on someone of a lower social order, and they promptly arrest Dr. Harris. Caroline, following Mrs. Frogerton's lead, investigates in an attempt to clear Dr. Harris's name. The ladies' efforts are nicely balanced by their amusing asides with Dorothy Frogerton, the widow's daughter, who's determined to snag a titled husband. Numerous plausible suspects and perceptive observations on the period's social mores make this an entertaining entry in the series. More Morton mysteries would be welcome.
It is not my kind of book, but I skipped dinner to finish it. Very entertaining.
Excellent cozi mystery
Very enjoyable cozi historical mystery! Lady Caroline and Mrs. Frogerton are once again in the middle of a murder mystery where their friend Dr. Harris is the #1 suspect of the murder of spiritualist Madam Lavinia. On the quest to discover who did murder Madam and prove Dr. Harris innocence leads to many questions but no proof of whodunnit.
It definitely kept my interest and trying to figure out who the murderer was. Great twist in the end! I love it when I didn’t guess who was the villain. I rated it 4.5 ⭐️. Thank you NetGalley for this eARC. I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story. #NetGalley #MissMortonandtheSpiritsoftheUnderworld