Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Death by Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen

Lady Montfort is at it again in Tessa Arlen’s latest historical mystery. Kerry Hammond is a huge fan of this series and is here to tell us about the latest adventure. You can find Kerry on Twitter @KerryHammond88 and Mystery Playground @MysteryPlaygrnd.

A Death by Any Other Name is the 3rd book in the Lady Montfort mystery series by British author Tessa Arlen. The book releases in Hardcover on March 14 by Minotaur Books. This series, which takes place in the early 1900s in England, is a wonderfully written historical series. I was lucky enough to have the books recommended by a friend and have waited—semi-patiently—for each subsequent book to be published. It’s the kind of series that you know will not disappoint.

In this installment, Lady Montfort and her loyal and trusted housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, again find themselves investigating a murder. Mrs. Jackson is approached by a woman who used to hold the position as cook at Hyde Castle, home of self-made millionaire Mr. Haldane. The cook was accused of accidentally poisoning a houseguest, whose his death was ruled at the inquest due to tainted food, and the cook was summarily dismissed from her position. Having heard of Mrs. Jackson and Lady Montfort’s successful investigations, she implores the detecting duo to help clear her name so she may work again.

Lady Montfort manages to get herself invited to Hyde Castle, where a group of amateur rosarians has gathered. Mrs. Jackson comes along of course but in the role of companion to Lady Montfort, in order that she have access to both the downstairs servants and the upstairs guests. The two women verify that the houseguest was indeed murdered, but also realize that there is no shortage of people who might have wanted him out of the way.

These books really take the reader back to the mysteries written in the early 1900s. Complete with a cast of characters in the beginning of the book—full of possible suspects to choose from—and a puzzle just waiting to be solved, these books are the type of whodunit that I love to read.

I really enjoyed that Mrs. Jackson was taken even further out of her comfort zone in this book, as she tried to deal with the informalities at Hyde Castle. Even with these new challenges, she clearly showed signs of adapting and even enjoying her role as sleuth. This is a great series that I hope continues for a very long time.

Listen to a an author interview Podcast on What's Up Bainbridge here.

Also on Mystery Playground, a review of the second book in the series, Death Sits Down to Dinner, pared with a Ginger Death Snap.

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