"Cross Agatha Christie with Georgette Heyer and what do you get?--Rosemary Stevens!" Jane Detinger, Senior Editor, Mystery Guild
Beau Brummell arrived punctually at the estate of Frederica, the Duchess of York, as her special guest for her birthday celebration. Unfortunately, his valet — and his valises full of proper attire — have gone missing, leaving the arbiter of fashion out of fashion for his first night as Freddie's guest. When Beau's valet does appear, he reveals the shocking news that he was set upon by highwaymen, who stole most of his master's luggage — including an indiscreet letter that Freddie wrote to Beau, which could embroil them both in scandal.
Once Freddie's other guests arrive, Beau puts his worries aside and turns his attention to ensuring her birthday remains pleasant. Not an easy task, considering one of the party is the horrid Lord Kendrick — whose notorious reputation rings true when he behaves badly with several women. When he's found dead with one of Freddie's hair ornaments lodged in his throat, Beau is hardly surprised. But he cannot stand by and allow her to be accused of the crime — even if she is angry with him for keeping her letter and allowing it to fall into the wrong hands. Devastated that he has wronged the woman he adores, Beau must collect himself to find the true killer, and retrieve the letter that is now being used to blackmail Freddie . . .
“Dandy and amateur sleuth Beau Brummell continues to charm in this third whodunit from Agatha Award winner Stevens. Renowned for his sartorial splendor and elegance, Brummell has come to Oatlands, the country home of the Duke and Duchess of York, to be with Frederica, the duchess, as she celebrates her birthday while her husband is off with his mistress. When a highwayman robs Robinson, his valet, en route to Oatlands, Brummell isn't as concerned about his lost clothes as he is about his stolen blue-velvet-covered scrapbook, which contains a letter from Frederica that if made public could cause a royal scandal and Brummell's social downfall. After the universally disliked Marquess of Kendrick threatens blackmail and is subsequently murdered, Frederica calls in Mr. Lavender of Bow Street. As the investigation progresses and the murders mount, the author expertly uses red herrings to keep Brummell and the reader guessing. A multitude of authentic historical figures add to the fun in this vivid portrait of Regency England. Stevens deftly captures the magnificence of the wealthy's country estates and the glittering atmosphere of London at the height of the social season. Combined with a witty, suave and romantic Brummell, who unravels the mystery as meticulously as he dresses, this is sure to appeal to a wide variety of fans.”
“Much to his delight, Beau Brummell, accompanied by Chakkri his Siamese cat, is attending a house party at Oatlands, home of Frederica, Duchess of York. He is perturbed, though, for his valet Robinson has not yet arrived with his possessions.
When Robinson does arrive, Brummell learns he was set upon by a highwayman, who made off with some of his possessions. This puts him in a panic, for among the missing items is an album that contains a letter from his beloved Freddie, which could cause social ruin for all.
All of this is put out of mind when a fellow houseguest is murdered via a hair ornament of Freddie's. The police are called in but it is Brummell, using not only his great social connections, but also the help of his good friend Miss Lavender (not to mention Chakkri) who saves the day.
This latest in the Beau Brummell series shows Ms. Stevens in top form. Mystery fans will appreciate the complicated, well-devised plot and fans of the ton will also be in for their share of fun as the author has included a fine amount of gossip, scandal, and sparkling wit." Romantic Times Magazine
About the Author
--Jane Detinger, Mystery Guild.
An anglophile since she was a child in Richmond, Virginia, Rosemary never dreamed that one day she would be compared to two of her favorite authors: Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer.
Her love of Heyer’s works inspired Rosemary to research and write about the English Regency period in 1994, resulting in her first novel, A Crime of Manners, published by Fawcett, a division of Ballantine Books. The first in the Cats of Mayfair series, A Crime of Manners was a finalist for the HOLT Medallion. Miss Pymbroke’s Rules, Lord and Master, and How the Rogue Stole Christmas completed the lighthearted romance series.
Rosemary’s ongoing, extensive research led to her fascination with Regency celebrity, George Bryan “Beau” Brummell. While he made cameo appearances in each of Rosemary’s previous books, she decided that a gentleman of his intelligence and wit surely solved crimes. That idea grew into the Beau Brummell Mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book, Death on a Silver Tray, appeared on the Independent Mystery Bookseller’s Association bestseller list multiple times, and won both the Agatha (Christie) Award for Best First Mystery and Romantic Times Award for Best First Mystery. Three more books in the series followed: The Tainted Snuff Box, The Bloodied Cravat, and Murder in the Pleasure Gardens. The Brummell books feature a mix of real historical personages and fictional characters. Witty and stylish mysteries with good historical background. The writing is as elegant as Beau Brummell himself. –M.C. Beaton aka Marion Chesney.
Switching gears to 1964 New York City, Rosemary authored a set of popular romantic mysteries set in 1964 New York City, featuring the adventures of a small town secretary Bebe Bennett and her stewardess roommate Darlene and how they navigate the swingin’ big city. Originally published by Signet Books under the name Rosemary Martin, the first book, It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod Murder was listed by the New York Post as Required Reading. Two other books, Twist and Shout Murder and Secret Agent Girl complete the series.
After five years in Los Angeles, Rosemary currently makes her home in the mountains of Virginia. All of her books are now available as ebooks. www.rosemarystevens.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is the height of London’s Society season in 1806 and George “Beau” Brummell has gone to Oatlands, the country home of Frederica, the Duchess of York, for a weekend party celebrating her birthday. Unfortunately, he is having some difficulty maintaining his usual sartorial splendor as the esteemed Robinson and Beau’s luggage are long overdue. As it turns out, Robinson has been held up by a highwayman and all of Beau’s belongings have been stolen except his gift for Freddie, which Robinson protected at risk of life, limb and dignity. Among the missing items is Beau’s scrapbook which contains a letter written to him by Freddie in a moment of weakness, a letter which, if exposed, could cause a Royal scandal and lead to Beau’s disgrace. At all costs, Beau must find the letter, and that means he must unmask the highwayman. In the meantime, Freddie’s other guests have arrived, including a few of questionable quality. There are some thefts and Freddie receives the first blackmail threat. Feeling betrayed by Beau, she becomes noticeably cool towards him and begins to show favor to those who would be pleased to see him lose his high place in Society. The Bloodied Cravat ebookA guest who has managed to antagonize nearly everyone is murdered during the house party. Freddie calls in John Lavender of Bow Street, a dour Scot with a low opinion of Society in general and George Brummell in particular, largely because of his earlier attentions to Lavender’s lovely daughter, Lydia. Beau knows that Lavender would like nothing better than to prove him guilty of the murder, propelling him into his own attempt to solve the murder as well as find the letter. Above all, Beau needs to win back the Duchess’s affection and trust. Agatha award-winning and national bestselling author Rosemary Stevens brings the reader into the heart of Regency life, ranging from high society to the criminal world of Seven Dials, with both pathos and humor. The Siamese cat Chakkri, “otherwise known as Master and Supreme Ruler of the Brummell Household”, continues to be Robinson’s nemesis while Beau contends with more bodies, blackmail threats, spying and the malevolent gazes of Lavender and Freddie’s companion, Ulga. Red herrings abound to keep the reader guessing and Beau’s pain and confusion are evident as his feelings for both Freddie and Lydia become more apparent in this third entry in the Beau Brummell series. Ms. Stevens has created another winner and readers will clamor for more. Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2002.