Every now and then you come across an author who clicks with you. And his/her books may be ones you don’t normally read or they could be ones in your favorite genre. Either way, that is exactly what happened to me when I started reading Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen. About 1/3 of the way in I knew I would like it. By the time I was halfway through the book, I was in love! For a debut novel, I was thoroughly impressed with her writing style.
The book centers around the British Montfort family. Lady Clementine Talbot is hosting her annual summer ball at Iyntwood and wants everything in perfect order. That is all fine and dandy until a murder takes place, and her son is the prime suspect! Join Lady Montfort and her housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, as they try to solve the case and absolve her son Harry from the crime. But who killed young Teddy? And how did they do it with a house full or guests partying that night? Come along for the ride and watch two women at opposite ends of the social spectrum collaborate to find the killer.
I definitely enjoy mysteries and this was one of the best I have read in quite a while. There were twists and turns to keep you guessing all the way as well as suspects galore. I seriously did not know who actually murdered the young man until the very end. I had my guesses but the clues went down many different trails so I never knew for sure. The characters were quite interesting and Mrs. Jackson would probably win out as my favorite. A no nonsense, take charge kind of woman she does a lot of the legwork while Lady Montfort has quite the mind. Mr. Stafford was another favorite. He designs the gardens and is somewhat of an architect. Needless to say I loved the exchanges between him and Mrs. Jackson.The secondary characters make for some interesting reading as well.
Overall, I loved the book and was surprised to see minimal foul language. A plus in my book but getting harder to find as I delve into the mystery genre. Tessa Arlen writes a brilliant debut novel that has put her books on my watch list. Great for fans of Edwardian novels but just as good for the mystery lover!
Charity lives in Illinois and is the oldest of 6 children. The family also has 3 dogs and a cat. Reading is a hobby when not cooking, baking, sewing or enjoying music. She reads many different genres but Christian fiction is a favorite. Charity can be found often at her blog, Giveaway Lady.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Macmillan. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.