Heiress for Hire

Zebra: Kensington. (Duke’s Heiress, Bk. 1). May 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781420149975. pap. $7.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Three women are left fortunes by a duke they’ve never met in this first of a new romantic whodunit series from award-winning author Hunter (Never Deny a Duke). Minerva Hepplewhite is the first to discover she’s an heiress from the duke’s nephew, Chase, after she nearly knocks him unconscious, thinking he’s an intruder in her home. Down on her luck since leaving her abusive husband, Minerva knows the money is just what she needs to start her detective business, Hepplewhite’s Office of Discreet Inquiries. Unfortunately, her first case—determining how her mysterious benefactor died—is also being investigated by Chase, and Minerva is his prime suspect. Though the two are at odds to start, they grudgingly admire each other’s skills and eventually pair up for business and pleasure. Frustratingly, the mystery remains unsolved until later in the series. Also, some readers may find the blunt descriptions of Minerva’s past abuse by her husband particularly disturbing.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy strong elements of crime solving in their romances will love Minerva and Chase’s sleuthing, but be prepared to collect the entire series for closure on the mystery.

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