A Pinch of Poison
In post–World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, encounter an uncharitable killer at a charity luncheon sponsored by a posh school for girls . . .
Good deeds build good character, and good character is what the Haverleigh School for Young Ladies is all about. Lady Phoebe—with the tireless assistance of Eva—has organized a luncheon at the school to benefit wounded veterans of the Great War, encouraging the students to participate in the cooking and the baking. But too many cooks do more than spoil the broth—they add up to a recipe for disaster when the school’s headmistress, Miss Finch, is poisoned.
The girls at Haverleigh all come from highly respected families, none of whom will countenance their darling daughters being harassed like common criminals by the local police. So Lady Phoebe steps in to handle the wealthy young debutantes with tact and discretion, while Eva cozies up to the staff. Did one of the girls resent the headmistress enough to do her in? Did a teacher bear a grudge? What about the school nurse, clearly shell shocked from her service in the war? No one is above suspicion, not even members of the school’s governing body, some of whom objected to Miss Finch’s “modern” methods.
But Lady Phoebe and Eva will have to sleuth with great stealth—or the cornered killer may try to teach someone else a lethal lesson.
Alyssa Maxwell is the author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries, a historical series featuring the glamour of a bygone era and a sleuth who hails from a less "well-heeled" branch of the Vanderbilt family. The series debuted in March 2014 with MURDER AT THE BREAKERS (a USA Today Bestseller week of Sept. 4, 2014), followed by MURDER AT MARBLE HOUSE in September 2014, and MURDER AT BEECHWOOD in May 2015. Alyssa is also debuting an English-set historical series, A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries, set in the post WWI era. MURDER MOST MALICIOUS releases on Dec. 29, 2015. She and her family live in South Florida, and she is a member of the Florida Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Novelists Inc., and The Florida Romance Writers.
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Book Review by Bree Herron
After losing Downton Abbey to the under of the series, I have been searching for the fix to my British craving. I have found it in Alyssa Maxwell’s A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery Series. And to add to the love for this series, it all takes place after WWI. What a thrill it has been to read A Pinch of Poison. It lead me down a marvelous trail of mystery and witty characters. I felt the want to travel back in time to this era.
Lady Phoebe, is one that I warmed up to instantly. Her charm and brilliance shines through the lines. She is a hoot, as well. With moments of humor (the return of her kissing man). I found a smile in imagining her facial expressions upon seeing him. I also equate her to Lady Mary from Downton, a strong and independent soul. I may be the only to see some humor within in but, maybe it is the love of the British culture. The historical aspect is superb! It was so well woven into the story and only added to the charm. I felt as though I was there in the plot and setting.
This is a great read for those still searching for their British fix, or searching for a wonderfully written historical mystery. Oh, heck this is a book everyone who reads mysteries or enjoys well written books should read.
Please join the conversation and comment below. Have you read… If so what did you think/like?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
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