On discovering the lifeless body of an innocent ingénue, a peer attending a country house party joins forces with the lady-amazon sent to fetch the victim safely home in a race to expose the murderer before Stokes, assisted by Barnaby and Penelope, is forced to allow the guests, murderer included, to decamp.
Well-born rakehell and head of an ancient family, Alaric, Lord Carradale, has finally acknowledged reality and is preparing to find a bride. But loyalty to his childhood friend, Percy Mandeville, necessitates attending Percy's annual house party, held at neighboring Mandeville Hall. Yet despite deploying his legendary languid charm, by the second evening of the week-long event, Alaric is bored and restless.
Escaping from the soirée and the Hall, Alaric decides that as soon as he's free, he'll hie to London and find the mild-mannered, biddable lady he believes will ensure a peaceful life. But the following morning, on walking through the Mandeville Hall shrubbery on his way to join the other guests, he comes upon the corpse of a young lady-guest.
Constance Whittaker accepts that no gentleman will ever offer for her-she's too old, too tall, too buxom, too headstrong...too much in myriad ways. Now acting as her grandfather's agent, she arrives at Mandeville Hall to extricate her young cousin, Glynis, who unwisely accepted an invitation to the reputedly licentious house party.
But Glynis cannot be found.
A search is instituted. Venturing into the shrubbery, Constance discovers an outrageously handsome aristocrat crouched beside Glynis's lifeless form. Unsurprisingly, Constance leaps to the obvious conclusion.
Luckily, once the gentleman explains that he'd only just arrived, commonsense reasserts itself. More, as matters unfold and she and Carradale have to battle to get Glynis's death properly investigated, Constance discovers Alaric to be a worthy ally.
Yet even after Inspector Stokes of Scotland Yard arrives and takes charge of the case, along with his consultants, the Honorable Barnaby Adair and his wife, Penelope, the murderer's identity remains shrouded in mystery, and learning why Glynis was killed-all in the few days before the house party's guests will insist on leaving-tests the resolve of all concerned. Flung into each other's company, fiercely independent though Constance is, unsusceptible though Alaric is, neither can deny the connection that grows between them.
Then Constance vanishes.
Can Alaric unearth the one fact that will point to the murderer before the villain rips from the world the lady Alaric now craves for his own?
A historical novel of 75,000 words interweaving romance, mystery, and murder.
Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens
"Stephanie Laurens' heroines are marvelous tributes to Georgette Heyer: feisty and strong." Cathy Kelly
"Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters." Historical Romance Reviews
"Stephanie Laurens plays into readers' fantasies like a master and claims their hearts time and again." Romantic Times Magazine
Praise for The Murder at Mandeville Hall
"Stephanie Laurens never fails to delight with her tales of romance, mystery, and adventure set against the elegant, glittering backdrop of British high society." Irene S., Proofreader, Red Adept Editing
"A shared passion for justice turns into a shared passion for much, much more in this clever whodunit from Stephanie Laurens." Angela M., Line Editor, Red Adept Editing
"(The investigators) must sort through layers of intrigue and family pride to find the killer. At posh and proper Mandeville Hall, even murderers mind their manners." Kim H., Proofreader, Red Adept Editing
About the Author
Known for her Regency romances and historical novels, Stephanie Laurens is the bestselling author of the beloved Cynster series which is widely recognized as one of the top series in the genre. She has published over fifty novels, including the Bastion Club series and the Black Cobra Quartet. Laurens has her PhD in Biochemistry but gave up her science career to become a full-time writer. She and her husband live in Australia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is too close to her first book "devil's bride" Just read it it is much better than this one her older book are much better in my opinion.
This started off okay, but then it lost my attention and struggled to finish.
Another delightful book by Stephanie Lauren’s. The combination of a murder investigation with a romantic house party keeps the reader’s attention. I enjoy the stories with Inspector Stoke, Barnaby Adair, and his wife Penelope. She creates lovely scenes and intriguing characters with a mixture of suspense and romance.
Strong admiral characters with dizzy twist and turns.