Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Murder Most Malicious

Murder Most Malicious
(A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery Book 1)

New Series
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (December 29, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1617738302


In post–World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, step outside of their social roles and put their lives at risk to apprehend a vicious killer…

December 1918: As a difficult year draws to a close, there is much to celebrate for nineteen-year-old Phoebe Renshaw and her three siblings at their beloved family estate of Foxwood Hall. The dreadful war is finally over; eldest daughter Julia’s engagement to their houseguest, the Marquis of Allerton, appears imminent; and all have gathered to enjoy peace on earth, good will toward men.
But the peace of Foxwood Hall is shattered on the morning of Boxing Day, when the Marquis goes missing. Not entirely missing, however, as macabre evidence of foul play turns up in gift boxes given to lady’s maid Eva Huntford and a handful of others. Having overheard her sister and the Marquis in a heated exchange the night before, Lady Phoebe takes a personal interest in solving the mystery.
As the local constable suspects a footman at Foxwood Hall, Phoebe and Eva follow the clues to a different conclusion. But both young women will need to think outside the box to wrap up this case—before a cornered killer lashes out with ill will toward them…

Review: I love historical mysteries, especially ones that are set in England. I'm a sucker for all things from England and have always been. This book has a bit of the Downton Abbey feel to it, from the locale to the time period.

It is a little fast at the start, which is a bit different from the cozy mystery format I'm used to, especially when it is the first in the series, usually those start out slow letting you get to know the sleuths, in this case Pheobe and her ladies maid Eva.

The victim was definitely one of those characters that you automatically say deserved their fate. The opening pages will give you a clue as to why. I don't want to give away too much. As the story progresses he gets more deserving of being six feet under.

It was a bit on the fluffy side, but that didn't bother me much. My main problem was trying to keep characters straight because of the pacing of the story. The point of views switched between Eva and Phoebe a lot and it got confusing.

I really liked the two sleuths, Eva seemed to be the smarter of the two considering she was a ladies maid. She's not much older than Phoebe, but she keeps a motherly watch over her.

I really was surprised at who the killer was, I was leaning towards another character for awhile and was really surprised at the outcome.

There were times reading this that I could make comparisons with characters from Downton Abbey. Pheobe and Julia seem quite similar to Edith and Lady Mary. (I liked Julia about as much as I liked Lady Mary and that's not very much)

Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to seeing further adventures with Pheobe and Eva.

Rating: 4 flowers

About The Author

 Alyssa Maxwell has worked in publishing as an assistant editor and a ghost writer, but knew from an early age that being a novelist was what she wanted most. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She lives in South Florida in the current year, but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian, Edwardian, and post WWI eras. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns while strolling manor house gardens, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons.
Author Links
Webpage –
Twitter – @Alyssa__Maxwell
Purchase Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway


ptclayton said...

love the writeup about the book so glad that this author was featured as never read any of her books.

Libby Dodd said...

Love her books

Alyssa Maxwell said...

Just popping in to thank you so much for joining my Great Escapes tour. Your time and consideration in reading and reviewing my book is much appreciated!

holdenj said...

I have enjoyed this author in the past and can't wait to read this! Thanks!

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs