Murder Most Malicious: A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery

Kensington. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781617738302. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781617738319. M
The Great War is over, and those who remain at Foxwood Hall have survived the influenza epidemic of 1918. At Christmastide, Lady Julia Renshawe Wroxly is expected to announce her engagement to the Marquis of Allerton. But the festivities on Boxing Day (when the servants are handed their gifts from the Wroxly family) reach a sober conclusion after the presents are unwrapped. It becomes apparent something horrible has happened to Lord Allerton, who has not been seen in two days. Lady Phoebe and her maid Eva Huntford decide to investigate.
VERDICT The author of the "Gilded Newport" mysteries (Murder at the Breakers) switches locations and historical periods for her new series debut. Downton Abbey fans will enjoy Maxwell's evocative descriptions of a particular society as it transitions from the Edwardian Age to modern times. Lady Phoebe is torn between her life before the war and her desire to become a modern woman.
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