Friday, July 5, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Kensington Publishing
Hardcover, eBook, AudioBook
Genre: Historical Mystery
How far will some go to safeguard a secret? In the latest novel in Dianne Freeman’s witty and delightful historical mystery series, the adventurous Countess Harleigh finds out... Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth each year, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting—for birds or a second husband—and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns. Instead, she’s immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight—along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society’s elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits? Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all—but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she’ll soon find herself among them...

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Advance praise for A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder

“Readers will enjoy playing amateur sleuth as they learn what really might be going on behind closed doors in 1899’s best British homes.” —Heather Redmond, author of A Tale of Two Murders “The full cast of talkative aristocrats, the lighthearted tone, and the fast pace will keep readers actively engaged. This would make a wonderful introduction to cozy mysteries for fans of Regency or Victorian romance, and it will also hit the mark for followers of Elizabeth Peters and Deanna Raybourn.” —Booklist “A charming period mystery with enough sexual tension and credible suspects to keep the reader guessing.” –Kirkus

Praise for A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder

“Fans of Georgette Heyer will appreciate the hints of romance, while aficionados of Deanna Raybourn or D.M. Quincy will delight in the banter-filled dialog and period details.”—Library Journal, Starred Review “Fans of witty, lighthearted Victorian mysteries will be enthralled.”- Publishers Weekly Starred Review “This lighthearted debut tale of mystery, love, and a delightful sleuth will leave you wanting more—which is presumably just what Freeman has in mind.”– Kirkus Reviews “A delightful tale of shenanigans among the British aristocracy. Lady Frances feels very real—not too smart and spunky but no shrinking violet either.” —Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author


“What is our next step?” 
He turned back to me, his lips drawn in a thin line. “I’ve been wondering about that myself,” he said. “I should be able to get an update from”—he paused mysteriously—“my contact. Find out what the police have learned from their canvass and from the coroner. They may have found some useful evidence from her home and spoken to her family.”
I felt a sudden surge of excitement. “I could speak to her family. As a friend of Mary’s, I must call on her sister when she arrives in town, and it would certainly be reasonable for me to pay a condolence call on her late husband’s family as well. After you find out what the police learned, you can tell me if there is something you still need to know. As a social equal, I may be able to wheedle those personal details the family may have held back from the police.”
“I don’t know if they would consider themselves your social equals, Countess,” he said with a grin.
“They are new money, to be sure, but our social lives intersect a great deal.” I gave him a careless shrug. “And if they view me as a step above them, it will be only that much easier to gain answers to impertinent questions.”
He pursed his lips again, the muscles in his jaw tightening.
“I don’t want you to put yourself in any danger. Right now, we only know Mrs. Archer was murdered; we have no idea why. Just because the police have a theory, doesn’t mean it’s correct. What if one of the family murdered her? I don’t want you asking leading questions of a murderer.”
“I think you are rather putting the cart before the horse. Why not wait and see what you find out by tomorrow and what you still need to learn? I promise not to ask any questions of potential suspects before discussing it with you first. Will that make you feel better?”
He gave me a suspicious smile. “It might if I didn’t think your promise rather ambitious for you. Don’t forget, the last time you investigated on your own someone tried to murder you.” He raised a brow. “You will consult me before taking any action?”
I widened my eyes in an expression of innocence. “This is your investigation. Just the fact that you’re willing to let me participate will keep me on my best behavior. I promise to abide by all your rules and have a care for my safety.” 
I caught a glimpse of self-satisfaction on his face. What was he up to? “I hesitate to look a gift horse in the mouth, George, but I must know why you’re willing to cede some of your responsibility to me.”
He picked up my hand in his. Turning it, he placed a kiss on my wrist, just above the lace of my glove. “I like the idea of you working with me, Frances. I think you’d make an excellent partner. And in this particular matter I truly need your help.”
His words and actions confused me beyond all measure. When he said partner, did he mean in the investigation, or something more? 
“Will you be able to help Charles?” I asked.
He nodded. “This will be a difficult case. Perhaps the only thing worse than no suspect is too many suspects. It would be far too easy to make a case against Charles and forget all about the potential blackmail issue.”
“Unless I find a more likely suspect among Mary’s notes.”
“That’s my hope.” 

So, we were to be partners for this investigation. How silly of me to imagine otherwise. But if it was only my imagination, why was he still caressing my hand?

About the Author

Dianne Freeman is a life-long book lover who left the world of corporate finance to pursue her passion for writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, she realized her true love was fiction, historical mystery in particular. She also realized she didn’t like winter very much so now she and her husband pursue the endless summer by splitting their time between Michigan and Arizona. She's been nominated for an Agatha and the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, and won the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 25 Review at Book Frolic Review at The Lit Bitch Wednesday, June 26 Review at Macsbooks Excerpt at To Read, Or Not to Read Thursday, June 27 Review at A Chick Who Reads Friday, June 28 Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads Saturday, June 29 Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit Sunday, June 30 Review at Oh, The Books She Will Read Monday, July 1 Review at Mama's Reading Corner Tuesday, July 2 Interview at Maiden of the Pages Wednesday, July 3 Review at Bibliophile Reviews Thursday, July 4 Interview at Passages to the Past Friday, July 5 Review at A Darn Good Read Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books Saturday, July 6 Review & Interview at Jorie Loves A Story


During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a paperback copy of A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder and a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder

My Review

A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder, book two from Dianne Freeman's series, A Countess of Harleigh Mystery, is a fun read. Even though this is felt it could be read as a stand alone. I would still love to read the first one to see what happened prior to this one. I found Frances to be a delightful and entertaining character. The mystery she was pulled into kept guessing how it would all end.

I am giving A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder five stars. I look forward to more from A Countess of Harleigh Mystery series in the future.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion. 

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