A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery)
by Dianne Freeman

About A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716930
ISBN-13: 978-1496716934
Digital ASIN: B07ZPL4VT2

In Dianne Freeman’s charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister’s wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance.


London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host—or hide—any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily’s imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton’s family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits—shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens.


But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it’s not simply the arrival of Frances’s socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, mysterious accidents befall guests and staff alike. Before long, Frances suspects these “accidents” are deliberate, and fears that the intended victim is Lily’s fiancĂ©, Leo. Frances’s mother is unimpressed by Lily’s groom-to-be and would much prefer that Lily find an aristocratic husband, just as Frances did. But now that Frances has found happiness with George—a man who loves her for much more than her dowry—she heartily approves of Lily’s choice. If she can just keep the couple safe from villains and meddling mamas.


As Frances and George search for the culprit among the assembled family, friends, and servants, more victims fall prey to the mayhem. Mishaps become full-blooded murder, and it seems that no one is safe. And unless Frances can quickly flush out the culprit, the peal of wedding bells may give way to another funeral toll. . . .


A Wedding Invitation from the Countess of Harleigh

Dear readers,

You are cordially invited to the wedding of Miss Lily Price and Mr. Leo Kendrick, at one o’clock on December 20th  1899. St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square.

I’m Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh and I’ve been planning this wedding with my sister for the last month or so. I freely admit I was not an early advocate of this match. Perhaps it was their youth. Lily is only eighteen and Leo a mere twenty-three. Perhaps I was just being protective of my little sister. As her sponsor, I was responsible for her when she made her London debut back in April. That’s when she drew the attention of several gentlemen, including Leo. I believe she’d have married him the next day had I not advised caution. Lily is something of an heiress and we didn’t know Leo well at the time. Well, one has to be careful.

Another reason for my caution was that ten years ago, I married in haste. My late husband, Reginald Wynn was then heir to the Earl of Harleigh. He was the man of my mother’s dreams. Reggie and I met, danced once or twice, and before I knew it, we were married. It was a disaster. My husband dropped me off at the country home, took my dowry, and returned to his bachelor ways right up until the day he died.

To be clear, Leo is nothing like Reggie. I had no reason to think ill of him then, but now that they’ve waited six months, they’ve come to know one another so much better, and I’m delighted to welcome him to the family as my brother—what?

Please excuse me a moment. It seems Lily requires my attention…

Yes, I’m just extending the invitation now.

Stop? What do you mean; stop?

You. Cannot. Be. Serious. Elope? I think not!

Forgive the interruption, dear reader. It seems Lily and Leo have come to know one another a bit too well, if you know what I mean. I’m afraid we’ll have to make new arrangements for the wedding. Please do not go to St. Peter’s on December 20th. Heavens, we can’t possibly wait that long. What we really need is a house in the country where we can hold an immediate, private wedding, so at least both their mothers can attend.

Fortunately, my fiancĂ©, George Hazelton is currently in charge of just such a place. Risings is the Hazelton family home and residence of George’s brother, the Earl of Hartfield, who is currently traveling on the continent. George has offered to check in and make sure the estate is running properly in his brother’s absence. While doing so, he’s hosting a shooting party there. Why not a wedding at the end of it?

This could be the perfect solution. All I have to do is route both families to Hampshire, join the shooting party, partake in some riding, perhaps some archery, and plan one small wedding in a week.

What could possibly go wrong? 

About Dianne Freeman

Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. She is an Agatha Award and Lefty Award finalist, as well as a nominee for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award from Mystery Writers of America. She spent thirty years working in corporate accounting and finance and now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband now split their time between Michigan and Arizona. Visit her at difreeman.com.

Author Links

Website – www.difreeman.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DianneFreemanAuthor/

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17347322.Dianne_Freeman

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle BooksIndieBound 

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  1. It sounds good. Cute cover. Thanks for the chance

  2. Really cute cover, & I love the title!

  3. Cute cover. Love the sound of this!

  4. Love, Love the cover and great title! Shooting party and a wedding??? Just asking for trouble!! Thanks so much for this giveaway..

  5. I adore the cover and the book sounds like so much fun. Thanks for sharing and best wishes to the author.


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