In Lloyd’s skillful seventh Kurland St. Mary mystery (after 2018’s Death Comes to Bath), it’s 1825, and Lady Lucy and Sir Robert Kurland, who are expecting their second child, hire their servant Agnes’s London cousin, Polly Carter, to lend an extra hand. The Kurlands’ two-year-old son loves the strikingly beautiful new nursemaid, but her allure causes conflicts among the men of the household and village. When Polly is strangled, obvious suspects include Kurland Hall’s senior footman and a groom at the local inn, both of whom were seen with her shortly before her death. Then Agnes confesses that the murdered woman wasn’t her cousin but an imposter, who the real Polly Carter asked be hired in her place for unexplained reasons. Playbills left among the victim’s possessions suggest that she may be a London actress who goes by the name Flora Rosa. The tension rises with Robert and Lucy’s visit to London, where their investigation leads from theatrical circles into the private lives of the city’s aristocracy. Lloyd supplies a well-judged mix of domestic dramas and high-society intrigue. Agent: Deirdre Knight, Knight Agency. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Outstanding Praise for Catherine Lloyd and her Kurland St. Mary Mysteries!
Death Comes to Bath
“An amusing combination of Regency mores, romantic aspirations, and a clever mystery makes this one of Lloyd’s best.”
“Well-crafted . . . The couple’s complementary investigative skills shine in a plot that balances colorful characters and lively action.”
“Watching this duo is action in a joy.”
“Another deftly crafted gem of a mystery . . . An inherently riveting read that is unreservedly recommended for dedicated mystery buffs.”
—Midwest Book Review
Death Comes to the School
“Enjoyable . . . The liveliness of Lloyd’s many secondary characters and the marital tensions arising from Lucy’s fertility woes add richness to the well-plotted puzzle.”
Death Comes to Kurland Hall
“The third in this charming Regency series has a darker side."
"Lloyd is an expert on all things early 19th-century England and it shows. This engaging book ends with a twist readers won't see coming."
Death Comes to London
“A pleasant combination of Regency romance and mystery that evokes fond memories of Georgette Heyer.”
“Excellent historical detail, delightfully flawed lead characters, and the doings of the season make for entertaining reading. M. C. Beaton fans will enjoy this series.”
Death Comes to the Village
“A Regency Rear Window whose chair-bound hero and the woman who civilizes him generate sparks worthy of Darcy and Elizabeth.”
“A delightful debut…Readers will hope death returns soon to Kurland St. Mary.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A mix-up in the nursery forces two married Regency sleuths (Death Comes to Bath, 2018, etc.) to hunt down a killer.
Lucy, Lady Kurland, is expecting her second child. Looking for extra help in the nursery, she decides to give Polly Carter, the cousin of her current nursery maid, Agnes, a try despite dire warnings about hiring someone so beautiful. Polly does very well with little Ned, but her beauty causes so many problems among the male staff that Lucy and Sir Robert would dismiss her if it weren't for their strong sense of fairness. Even Bert Speers, one of the ostlers from the inn in town, has been seen following her home. When Polly and James, who's understudying the butler's job, both vanish, it's assumed that they've run off until James is discovered dumped at his father's farm after having been bashed on the head and Polly's found strangled in a ditch. Feeling responsible for her, Robert and Lucy resolve to unmask her killer, but they don't reckon with the surprises coming their way. Agnes admits that Polly isn't her cousin and she's not even named Polly, though her cousin did ask Agnes to help the imposter get the job. Who is the mysterious stranger, and why did she want to work at Kurland Hall? Searching her room, Lucy finds some memorabilia that suggest she may be the actress Flora Rosa. Burt Speers is being held in the cellars at the inn as the most likely suspect, but his guilt is in doubt. Despite being weighed down by her pregnancy, Lucy refuses to let Robert go it alone, and they use all their resources to uncover a killer.
A charming Regency mystery/romance with plenty of local color and unexpected twists and turns.