A Daughter of Fair Verona

John Scognamiglio Bks. (Daughter of Montague, Bk. 1). Jun. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781496750167. $28. M
This latest from genre-spanning Dodd (Every Single Secret; “Virtue Falls” series) is a fun start to a new historical mystery series with a refreshingly different time period— Renaissance Italy. The fifth time someone loses a betrothed, people begin to talk. To be fair, Rosaline “Rosie” Montague’s first four fiancés found other brides courtesy of Rosie herself. Rosie’s fifth betrothed, Duke Leir Stephano, isn’t quite so lucky. Instead of Stephano finding another woman to marry, Rosie winds up finding Stephano dead the night of their betrothal party. To make matters even worse, almost everyone at the party believes Rosie is responsible. If she wants to avoid having a murder charge pinned on her, she must figure out who really killed Stephano. Dodd debuts an ingeniously clever new series based on the premise that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet didn’t die at the end of the play but instead lived happily ever after in Verona raising a family that includes marriage-averse Rosie.
VERDICT Graced with an unforgettable cast of characters that includes the delightfully indefatigable Rosie and written with a cheeky sense of wit and charm Shakespeare would be proud to claim, Dodd’s well-executed launch of her new series is absolutely brilliant.
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