- Expected Jan 21, 2020
In the third book in the Mitford Murders series, lady's maid Louisa Cannon accompanies Diana Mitford into a turbulent late 1920s Europe.
The year is 1928, and after the death of a maid at a glamorous society party, fortune heir Bryan Guinness seizes life and proposes to eighteen-year-old Diana, most beautiful of the six Mitford sisters. The maid's death is ruled an accident, and the newlyweds put it behind them to begin a whirlwind life zipping between London's Mayfair, chic Paris and hedonistic Berlin. Accompanying Diana as her lady's maid is Louisa Cannon, as well as a coterie of friends, family and hangers on, from Nancy Mitford to Evelyn Waugh.
When a second victim is found in Paris in 1931, Louisa begins to see links with the death of the maid two years previously. Now she must convince the Mitford sisters that a murderer could be within their midst . . . all while shadows darken across Europe, and within the heart of Diana Mitford herself.
Heavy-handed foreshadowing mars bestseller Fellowes's third mystery featuring the real-life Mitford family (after 2018's Bright Young Dead). In 1928, two years after former criminal Louisa Cannon left the employ of the Mitfords, for whom she worked as a nursery maid, Louisa returns to service with the Guinness family. Louisa crosses paths with her now grown former charges, Nancy and Diana Mitford, at a party her employers are hosting in London, which ends tragically with a servant falling to her death in an apparent accident. After Diana marries Bryan Guinness in 1929, Louisa joins her as a ladies' maid, a job that takes her to Paris, where she runs across her sometime love interest, Det. Sgt. Guy Sullivan, who's on the trail of another servant, who disappeared after working in the Guinness home the night of the fatal gala. While in Paris, one of Bryan's friends dies, also apparently accidentally. More deaths follow. Thin characterizations, especially of Diana, who would go on to marry British fascist Oswald Mosley, don't enhance a lumbering plot. Series fans will be disappointed.