"Cross Agatha Christie with Georgette Heyer and what do you get?--Rosemary Stevens!" Jane Detinger, Senior Editor, Mystery Guild
After receiving a series of death threats by post, the Prince of Wales feels that some time spent away from London will calm his frazzled nerves. So he escapes to Brighton — where Beau Brummell joins him as a guest. With guards posted at every door, the atmosphere is tense — especially under the scrutiny of Sir Simon. Hired by the Prince as his personal "food-taster," the odious baronet is a poor substitute for the polite company of London society that Beau is used to.
Some refinement appears in the form of a new blend of snuff prepared by Beau's good friend Petersham. Sir Simon insists on sampling it before the Prince — only to keel over dead. Now, Beau's friend is supected of trying to assassinate the Prince. In order to clear Petersham's name, Beau will have to turn his quizzing glass on the crime . . .
Independent Mystery Bookseller Association Bestseller!
"In her second Beau Brummell mystery, Stevens keeps to the high standard she set in DEATH ON A SILVER TRAY.
It's the autumn of 1805, and the Prince of Wales, frightened by threatening letters, has moved with his entourage to Brighton to escape the unknown menace. There, during a walk on the beach, his friend Beau Brummell discovers the body of a young lady, whose identity he's moved to discover. Before he can make much progress, Sir Simon, an obnoxious parvenu who has ingratiated himself as the prince's food taster, samples a new blend of snuff belonging to Lord Petersham at a dinner party--with fatal results. Believing he was the intended victim, Prinny orders Beau to find out who put the poisoned snuff in Lord Petersham's box. Petersham himself is a suspect, and it will take the intervention of Brummell and his pet, Chakkri, "the only Siamese cat in England," to clear the lord's name. In the end, the chivalrous Beau risks social ruin to bring the real murderer to justice.
Stevens, with several Regency romances to her credit, shows that her familiarity with the era has not bred contempt. Her mastery of the language and knowledge of the conventions and morals of the British aristocracy allow her story to ring true. With a cast of enjoyable characters both real and fictional, and a string of red herrings, hidden motives and plot twists as intricate as a well-tied cravat, this story will delight both historical mystery and Regency fans."
“The author smoothly integrates the superficiality of the court with a darker undertone making THE TAINTED SNUFF BOX work as an historical novel and a window on contemporary society. While the tone is light, Stevens adds weight to a well-developed plot that is balanced with historical figures and fictional characters.”
Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Rosemary Stevens brings the essence of the Regency era, as well as the personality of Beau Brummell, to sparkling life in THE TAINTED SNUFF BOX. This is a delightful story with a well-plotted puzzle. Readers will be charmed by the tale of mores and murder.
Romantic Times Magazine
"Stevens has surpassed her flair for a well-drawn who-done-it regency mystery. Avid historical fiction readers will want to read and devour this superb, page-turning novel.
Murder On Miami Beach Bookstore, Miami
"What makes this story so enjoyable are the author's characterizations and her effective use of the setting. Stevens knows the era of which she writes intimately and this knowledge enriches her tale."
The Mystery Reader
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
The Tainted Snuffbox was another great book by Rosemary Stevens. The story moves along at a reasonably quick pace, and there's enough questions about the murder(s) to keep the readers' interest.
In 1805, Mr. Beau Brummel, the arbiter of style and good taste, joins the Prince of Wales in Brighton. The Prince fled London out of fear for his life after receiving several threatening notes. Mr. Brummel takes the Prince's theatrics so seriously that he continues to work on the perfect knot of his cravat. At the Prince's Pavilion, Sir Simon, a throwback to an age of ostentatious overkill, serves as the food taster to his Highness. In a short time, Simon insults Beau and his friend Lord Perry, who threatens to kill the pompous butt licker. Lord Petersham mixes some snuff making a new blend. As expected, he offers the first taste to the Prince of Wales. However, Sir Simon adamantly demands to test the snuff to insure no poison has been included as an ingredient. Simon dies. Everyone except Beau believes that Petersham tried to assassinate the Prince. Beau begins to investigate because he knows the Prince has several enemies and so did that odious cow Simon, including Brummel's friend Lord Perry. THE TAINTED SNUFF BOX, the sequel to DEATH ON A SILVER TRAY, is an entertaining historical mystery that showcases an intriguing era in the English aristocracy. The characters seem very real as if the audience is witnessing the regency period first hand. Beau knows more than wardrobe as he makes an intelligent amateur sleuth because he understands people so well. Rosemary Stevens provides more than just a cleverly drawn who-done-it, she gifts her fans with a powerful period piece wrapped inside a strong mystery. Harriet Klausner