A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder

Recorded Books. (Countess of Harleigh, Bk. 5). Jun. 2022. 8:51 hrs. ISBN 9781705052921. $19.99. M
Set in 1900s London, Freeman’s fifth installment in the “Countess of Harleigh” series (following A Fiancée’s Guide to First Wives and Murder) takes listeners on an entertaining romp through the parlors and dressing rooms of Victorian society. Frances Wynn, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, is poised to marry lawyer George Hazelton. Despite a troubling feud between two of the guests and a potentially explosive love triangle involving Frances’s brother, the wedding goes off without a hitch. Just as the newlyweds are preparing to set off on their honeymoon, disaster strikes. Frances’s brother is accused of murder, and George and Frances must prove his innocence. Narrator Sarah Zimmerman’s pitch-perfect narration adorns this production, keeping the momentum going with well-timed pacing. Zimmerman’s depiction of Frances is well-rounded, capturing her exasperation with her meddling family, her tender feelings for her new husband, and her frank enjoyment of the investigation. Other characters, including stalwart George and Frances’s twittering mother, are equally well executed.
VERDICT This charmingly narrated audio will appeal to followers of the series and fans of Victorian cozies and light romantic mysteries. Previous knowledge of the series is helpful but not necessary.
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