I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Murder Most Malicious on December 29, 2015
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In post–World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, step outside of their social roles and put their lives at risk to apprehend a vicious killer...
December 1918: As a difficult year draws to a close, there is much to celebrate for nineteen-year-old Phoebe Renshaw and her three siblings at their beloved family estate of Foxwood Hall. The dreadful war is finally over; eldest daughter Julia’s engagement to their houseguest, the Marquis of Allerton, appears imminent; and all have gathered to enjoy peace on earth, good will toward men.
But the peace of Foxwood Hall is shattered on the morning of Boxing Day, when the Marquis goes missing. Not entirely missing, however, as macabre evidence of foul play turns up in gift boxes given to lady’s maid Eva Huntford and a handful of others. Having overheard her sister and the Marquis in a heated exchange the night before, Lady Phoebe takes a personal interest in solving the mystery.
As the local constable suspects a footman at Foxwood Hall, Phoebe and Eva follow the clues to a different conclusion. But both young women will need to think outside the box to wrap up this case—before a cornered killer lashes out with ill will toward them...
Murder Most Malicious by Alyssa Maxwell is the first book in a new historical cozy mystery series. When I read the synopsis, I was so excited to read this one. I am a big fan of Downton Abbey and I knew I would love the upstairs/downstairs element of this story.
Phoebe, with the help of her lady’s maid, Eva, is determined to find out what happened to Lord Allerton. Phoebe is clever and doesn’t put up with wrong-doing. I love how strong willed she is. In this new, post-war world, she sees that there should be much more equality among people, rather than the ‘upstairs/downstairs’ mentality that is still very much a part of her world. Eva is intelligent and is a good counterpart to Phoebe.
I really liked this historical cozy mystery. The setting and characters felt authentic to me. I was easily drawn into the story and wanted to find out what would happen next. The mystery was intriguing enough that I didn’t feel confident in my guessing of the guilty party until the end when the story finished playing out. There were times I felt the pacing was a bit slow, but overall the story flowed well. I feel like some of the parts that were slow were only to really build the upstairs/downstairs world for people who may not understand it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light mysteries in an historical setting. Murder Most Malicious by Alyssa Maxwell was an enjoyable read for me and I am looking forward to the next in the series. I am also planning to seek out Maxwell’s earlier series, the Gilded Newport Mystery series.