giveaway ends 7/15
Introducing A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder
by Dianne Freeman
I write the Countess of Harleigh mystery series, Victorian era who-dun-its that take place among the aristocracy in London. Like most cozy mysteries, the focus isn’t only on solving the crime, but on the protagonist’s life and how the crime affects it. My protagonist, Frances, isn’t a private detective or a police officer, she’s an average citizen—if a countess can be average, that is. The point is, in each book, before a crime got in her way, she was meant to be accomplishing something else. That something else, usually involved her family.
In Etiquette and Murder, she was introducing her aunt and sister to London society. In Gossip and Murder, her cousin by marriage, Charles, engaged her to find him a match—a woman who was subsequently murdered. Her sister, Lily needed a speedy wedding and a change of venue. That’s what took them all out to the deadly country estate of Risings, in Mischief and Murder. In First Wives and Murder, Frances’s task was only to attend an engagement party for herself and her fiancé, George. Instead, they found themselves suspects in a murder case.
Family is at the heart of a Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder as well. Frances’ mother, Daisy Price, has been staying with Frances and Aunt Hetty since Lily’s wedding four very long months ago. Daisy can be a bit overbearing. She likes to be in charge and to have things go her way, and that extends to Frances’ wedding. She’s planned everything down to the exact shade of white in the flower arrangements. After the initial battles, Frances gave in and let her mother take over.
With the wedding just a day away, Frances can’t wait to marry the man of her dreams, and put several hundred miles between herself and her mother when they leave for their honeymoon. As her nerves fray, she knows that can’t happen soon enough.
The day before the wedding, Frances’ father and brother arrived from New York and moved into her house, causing even more chaos. Something felt off between her parents, and her brother convinced Frances to invite what turned out to be a controversial guest.
Despite everything, Frances made it to the big day. Her plan was to marry George, have a short afternoon reception, then depart for France to enjoy their honeymoon. Everything was going as planned until the police showed up at the door. Unfortunately, her brother, Alonzo, was found standing over a dead body with the murder weapon in his hand. It’s up to Frances and George to solve this crime and clear Alonzo’s name, but if her family members keep “helping” they may never get away for their honeymoon.
About The Book
Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, returns in Dianne Freeman’s charming, lighthearted mystery series set in Victorian England, and finds her wedding day overshadowed by murder . . .
On the eve of her marriage to George Hazelton, Frances has a great deal more on her mind than flowers and seating arrangements. The Connors and the Bainbridges, two families of American robber barons, have taken up residence in London, and their bitter rivalry is spilling over into the highest social circles. At the request of her brother, Alonzo, who is quite taken with Miss Madeline Connor, Frances has invited the Connor family to her wedding. Meanwhile, Frances’s mother has invited Mr. Bainbridge, and Frances fears the wedding may end up being newspaper-worthy for all the wrong reasons.
On the day itself, Frances is relieved to note that Madeline’s father is not among the guests assembled at the church. The reason for his absence, however, turns out to be most unfortunate: Mr. Connor is found murdered in his home. More shocking still, Alonzo is caught at the scene, holding the murder weapon.
Powerful and ruthless, Connor appears to have amassed a wealth of enemies alongside his fortune. Frances and George agree to put their wedding trip on hold to try and clear Alonzo’s name. But there are secrets to sift through, not just in the Bainbridge and Connor families, but also in their own. And with a killer determined to evade discovery at any cost—even if it means taking another life—Frances’s first days as a newlywed will be perilous indeed . . .
About the Author
Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. She is an Agatha Award and Lefty Award winner, as well as a finalist for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award from Mystery Writers of America. After thirty years of working in corporate accounting and finance, she now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband split their time between Michigan and Arizona. Visit her at www.DiFreeman.com.
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