MYSTERY

Murder in Masquerade

Berkley (Lady of Letters Mystery, Bk. 2). Feb. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780593548783. pap. $18. M
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Amelia, Countess of Amesbury, enjoys answering the “Lady Agony” letters she receives as columnist for a penny weekly. Her friend Simon, the Marquis of Bainbridge, is angry when his younger sister Marielle sends a letter complaining that her family doesn’t like the man she loves, George Davies; she says she plans to elope. Simon sees Davies, onetime stable manager for the Bainbridge estate, as a no-good gambler and social climber who’s after Marielle’s money and status. When Simon and Amelia attend an opera and spot Marielle and George, there’s tension in the boxes, but it’s nothing compared to the emotions when Marielle stumbles over George’s dead body in an alley afterward and accuses her brother of killing her betrothed. Simon asks Amelia to help find George’s killer and exonerate himself. Amelia is once again on the case, but she suspects Simon is hiding evidence from her. Horse races, croquet matches, and a garden party are all part of her scheme to root out a murderer.
VERDICT The follow-up to Murder in Postscript emphasizes Victorian social customs and society. Fans of Dianne Freeman’s “Countess of Harleigh” mysteries will enjoy.
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