Book Review: Murder in Postscript

*I did this review for the May edition of Historical Novels Review, the Magazine of the Historical Novel Society.


When one of her readers asks for advice following a suspected murder, Victorian countess Amelia Amesbury, who secretly pens the popular Lady Agony column, has no choice but to investigate in this first book in a charming new historical mystery series.

Amelia Amesbury—widow, mother, and countess—has a secret. Amelia writes for a London penny paper, doling out advice on fashion, relationships, and manners under the pen name Lady Agony. But when a lady’s maid writes Amelia to ask for advice when she believes her mistress has been murdered—and then ends up a victim herself—Amelia is determined to solve the case.

With the help of her best friend and a handsome marquis, Amelia begins to piece together the puzzle, but as each new thread of inquiry ends with a different suspect, the investigation grows ever more daunting. From London’s docks and ballrooms to grand country houses, Amelia tracks a killer, putting her reputation—and her life—on the line.


This Victorian mystery is the first book in the A Lady of Letters mystery series. In London in 1860, Amelia Amesbury is a countess and widow, having lost her husband to illness after a short marriage. She also has a secret. She writes an advice column for a London paper under the name Lady Agony, doling out clever answers to readers’ questions about romance, family, fashion, and more. When she receives a note from a lady’s maid who believes her mistress has been murdered, it does not end there. Amelia soon finds out the maid has been killed as well. With the help of her best friend, and assisted by a handsome marquis with secrets of his own, Amelia begins to investigate both murders. All the while, she is still trying to keep her scandalous alter ego of Lady Agony a secret.

This is a fascinating, well-thought-out mystery that will keep you guessing. The fact that a countess is writing an advice column, which would open her up to scandal if it became public knowledge, is intriguing. Each chapter heading starts with a question to and answer from Lady Agony, which is a great touch and adds a bit of humor. The main characters are engaging and well written, especially the fun-loving favorite of high society, Kitty Hamsted, who is Amelia’s best friend and sometimes partner in investigating crime. During Amelia’s investigation, we get to see both sides of London society, from Kitty’s popular parties to a peek inside the life of a servant. This is a fun take on the cozy mystery genre, and it provides a unique premise that will delight readers. Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of this from Berkley via The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Mary Winters is the author of A Lady of Letters Historical Mystery series, coming from Berkley in 2023. A longtime reader of Victorian fiction and an author of two other mystery series, Mary decided to write a new book set in Victorian London after taking a trip to England. Since then, she’s been busily planning her next mystery—and another trip! Please visit her website here.

Mary’s Social Media:

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Blog Tour and Book Review: Regency Therapy by #LisaHCatmull @austenprose


My publisher invited me to attend an all-expenses paid writing retreat at the posh new Hartfield Regency Resort in Loveland, Colorado. Carole isn’t nice like that—there must be a catch.

There is. His name is Ryder Hawk, the outlaw leader of the all-male Western writers who work for the same publishing company. He thinks he’s agreed to attend an all-expenses-paid week at a dude ranch.

Yeah, no. Carole has other ideas. She wants to break into the cowboy romance market. If I want to renew my writing contract, I have to do more than put up with Ryder and his gang of cowboy cronies for a week. We have to write together.

The problem is, Ryder and I have a history.

And it’s more like war than peace.


  • “Fun, sweet, slow burn. I was rooting for them!”— Liselotte, Goodreads
  • You don’t have to be an Austen fan to love this series!…If you’re looking for a clean, well-written book with some truly laugh-out-loud moments, grab this one today!”— Lorie AH, Amazon, on Matchmaking Therapy


This is a sweet, clean contemporary romance that will make you smile. When two rival authors are thrown together at Hartfield Regency Resort, sparks fly. Lucy is a Regency Romance author and Ryder writes Westerns. They do not hit it off at first, but are assigned to write a contemporary Cowboy romance together. Their constant, teasing banter adds a lighter note to the book. Lucy’s pride in being a Regency Romance author and her prejudice against Westerns is a fun nod to Jane Austen.

Although this is a very modern, very contemporary romance, there is a lot of discussion of Jane Austen. As a fan of historical fiction, I definitely appreciated this. Contemporary romance is not usually my go-to, but I think fans of that genre will enjoy this light enemies-to-lovers romance. It will be a nice, quick read this Spring and Summer.

I received a free print copy of this book via Austenprose PR. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Lisa Catmull writes sweet contemporary romances and clean and wholesome romances in the Victorian era. Her books have been nominated for Swoony, RONE, and Whitney awards.

She taught Middle School English and History for seven years before pursuing screenwriting and writing. She currently lives between a canyon and a lake in Utah with her husband, two cats, and two rambunctious children.

Her books can be found on Amazon and are always free for Kindle Unlimited readers.




Top Ten Tuesday: Top Five Tragic Romances

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s theme is a genre freebie. I originally was going to post this for Valentine’s Day but didn’t have time. Romance is not my favorite genre, but I chose my top five tragic romances, books that I really liked. One of them is not a romance but is based on a real-life tragic romance. I didn’t pick ten books because that’s just too much tragedy. And I don’t have Romeo and Juliet on the list because I never liked it (Sorry Shakespeare).

The Fault In Our Stars

A tragic love story between two teens with terminal cancer.

Loving Modigliani

This novel is full of magical realism and based on the true-life tragic and tortured love story of Artist Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hèbuterne

The Time Traveler’s Wife:

A passionate love affair with an unusual enemy: time travel.

The Notebook:

Some find this tragic. I find it to be a story of the truest love.

Love Story

This is a classic tale of love and loss.

Can you think of any tragic love stories that you would recommend?

Spotlight and Book Swag: To Win Her Hand #Austenprose

Check out the awesome book swag I got from Austenprose Book Tours for a book I’ll be reviewing soon. I got a signed book, a scented candle, chocolate, bookmarks, and more. Below is a book description and a link to To Win Her Hand on Amazon.

*The chocolate did not last long after the picture was taken.

Click on the cover below for the Amazon link.

Lord Featherstone has the world on his shoulders. Or at least his world. With two brothers and a failing estate he must make funds somehow. But what happens when he falls for a woman? Will his tactics work when the situation is so close and personal?

Everyone thinks Lady Loveluck is a wealthy widow. What they don’t know is that she is on the brink of hiring herself out as a Governess in order to pay for her next meal. The only thing keeping her from employment is a growing reputation as a matchmaker. As long as she never falls for another man, as long as she doesn’t allow herself to be fooled into marrying, she will be just fine.

But she never counted on being caught up in the beguiling tactics of London’s renowned and not-so-secret matchmaker for men.

Book Review: The Dreaming Beauty #SleepingBeauty #RegencyRomance

I read this book back in September for the November issue of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. See my review below.

When Tansy White is betrayed by her intended, she fears she is fated to be alone. Encouraged by her three aunts, she visits Rose Cottage, the home of her late mother. Tansy has dreamed of this cottage her whole life and wonders if it can provide the answers she seeks. But after getting caught in a storm and waking up in a strange house, she meets a man with secrets of his own. Marcus Taylor, the brother of a duke, also has troubling dreams. Working together, can they find out hidden secrets and piece together fragments of dreams?

This second book in the Enchanted Regency Romance series is such a delight. What a treat to read a Regency Romance with a bit of magical realism that is also a Sleeping Beauty retelling! With many nods to the timeless legend running through it, this is a fresh, original, and intriguing romance. Tansy’s ability to dream her future is just the right touch that adds an extra layer to this well-woven story. Readers will become enchanted themselves while piecing together a tapestry made out of dreams, secrets, magic, and lies. Fans of romance and magical realism will enjoy this book.

My rating is 4.6 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites with no partial star option.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via the Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Anneka R. Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor’s degree in English and history. When she isn’t dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children. Visit her website here.


*Click on the image to purchase this book on Amazon.

My Top Ten Traditionally Published Books of 2022 #TopTenof2022 #2022 #HappyNewYear #BooksoftheYear

Below, in no particular order, are my top ten traditionally published books of 2022. I’ll do another post tomorrow with my Top Ten Indie Books of 2022. You can click on the cover to learn more about each book.

The Belle of Belgrave Square

Lessons in Chemistry

A Catalogue of Catastrophe

The Ingenue

The Blackout Book Club

In The Middle of Hickory Lane

Long Way Home

The Murder of Mr. Wickham

The Pilot’s Girl

A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Comment below and let me know your favorite books of 2022.

Blog Tour and Promo: The Word Is Love #FlorenceKeeling #rachelsrandomresources @rararesources

*Not a Book Review


Lucky in life but unlucky in love, Lucy Greenfield owns a successful carriage business along with her best friend Max, and they have never been busier since their shire horses gained fame from their roles in the hit movie A Little in Love.

Too busy for romance, Lucy is surprisingly swept off her feet when Spencer arrives seeking help with his horse, and something more from Lucy. As quickly as Lucy falls, she wonders if all is not as it seems. Max can prove it, but that means he will have to express his true feelings for Lucy.

Relationships are strained as secrets unravel, and Lucy needs to solve the riddle of words to best describe how she feels… For her best friend.

Together, they must overcome what’s keeping them apart before it’s too late, if they are going to realize that the word is love.

Purchase Links




Florence Keeling was born in Coventry but now lives in Nuneaton. She married the love of her life over 20 years ago and they have two almost grown-up children. They share their lives with two mad dogs as well.

Writing is a great passion of hers, and one day she hopes to be able to turn it into a career. Until that day comes, she will continue working in accounts and payroll.

She also writes for children as Lily Mae Walters.




Blog Tour and Spotlight: The Great Christmas Cookoff

*** Not a Book Review


“With steaming rivalry, simmering passion and secrets set to bubble over, this festive cook off has all the ingredients a fab Christmas book needs.” Author, Jan Brigden.

It’s the festive showdown to end all festive showdowns …

“Queen of Chocolate” Beatrice Wodehouse, known for her decadent desserts, is ready to go head to head with her social media nemesis, clean lean baking machine Charlie Simmonds, in the Great Christmas Cook Off TV show.

Beatrice is fed up of Charlie’s sanctimonious attitude and is ready to show him that food is there to be enjoyed. Surely she’ll blow his keto, low sugar, low-carb mince pies out of the water with her chocolatey creations?

Except filming for the Cook-Off turns out to be anything but sugar, spice, and all things nice when the contestants realize there’s a festive saboteur in their midst – leading to melted ice cream, trifle mishaps, and private stories leaked to the press.
As the countdown to the final commences, suspicions run high and sparks are bound to fly – and not just from the flaming Christmas puddings!


(In her own words) Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons. Find out more about me on my website

Helen Buckley’s Social Media Links –

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#Bookreview: The Highlander’s Holiday Wife #Mystery #Romance #Holiday

This is another book I read in September for the November issue of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of The Historical Novel Society.

Edinburgh, 1826.  Lady Samantha Penwith, who runs a school and orphanage, is determined to find out who assaulted and murdered her husband. While out investigating, she rescues the victim of another assault and then slips away.  Braden Kendrick is the sensible member of Clan Kendrick, a noted doctor. But when an unknown rescuer saves his life, he is determined to find out their identity.  As Christmas approaches, Samantha and Braden find themselves fighting to uncover the truth and endangering their lives in the process.

This is a murder mystery with a touch of action/thriller and romance. The cover and title do not closely match the story because this is a well-crafted mystery as opposed to a light holiday romance.  It did not quite transport me to the Christmas season, but the characters are well-rounded and I easily connected with them.  The whole Clan Kendrick is an interesting family that readers will enjoy knowing.  Samantha is a strong woman, and the mystery is completely intriguing and compelling. The book is a bit of a slow burn in the first half, leading up to an exciting second half.  Recommended to anyone who enjoys Regency-style murder mysteries with strong female characters.

I received a free copy of this book from Zebra books via The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Vanessa Kelly is the award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of The Improper Princesses series, the Clan Kendrick, The Renegade Royals and The Stanton Family series, in addition to other historical romances. Named by Booklist as one of the “Stars of Historical Romance,” her books have been translated into nine languages and published internationally. In graduate school, Vanessa specialized in the study of eighteenth-century British fiction and is known for developing vibrant Regency settings, appealing characters, and witty storylines that captivate readers. She lives with her husband in Ottawa. Visit her at or join the Clan Kendrick Facebook Group at


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#Bookreview: The High Notes by #DanielleSteel #musicbusiness


Iris Cooper has been singing ever since she can remember, hitting the high notes like no one else. When she is twelve, her father convinces the owner of a bar in Lake City, Texas, to let her perform, and she stuns the audience. In the ensuing years, never staying anywhere for long, father and daughter move from one dusty town to the next, her passion for music growing every time she takes the mike in another roadhouse.

But it is not an easy life for Iris with her father in charge and using her income to pay for gambling, women, and booze. When she starts to tour at age eighteen, she takes on a real manager. Yet he exploits her too, and the singers and musicians she tours with are really the only family she has. It is they who give Iris the courage to finally fly free, leave the tour, and follow her dreams.

After years of enduring the hardships of the road, exploitation, and abuse to do what she loves, Iris’s big chance comes as her talent soars. But at the top at last, Iris still has to fight every step of the way. In The High Notes, Danielle Steel delivers an inspiring story about finding the strength to stand up for yourself and your dreams, no matter what it takes.


Iris is a singing prodigy but unfortunately is raised by a selfish, alcoholic father who forces her to sing for both their suppers. When she finally breaks free of him, she still has to deal with dishonest and abusive managers as she tries to make her way in the music business. More than once, Iris has to walk away. What she eventually finds is a singing career and more.

I enjoyed Iris’s friendships, especially with Pattie and Boy, and her willingness to start a new life. There is an event that happens in the book that is similar to a music-related tragedy in real life, and I thought that was done very well. The fact that Steel’s heroine in this book is not rich and has to make her own way over many obstacles is a welcome departure from many of Steel’s other works. The romance is sweet and does not take over the novel. There is also a realistic look at family and how they can let you down. Family is often celebrated in books, and rightly so, but through Iris we see a realistic look at how the family you are born into doesn’t always have your back.

The first 15% of this book is hard to get into. Steel is known for breaking the rules, but the “telling instead of showing” doesn’t work as well for her in this book, and there are way too many run-on sentences. The book does get better, though, and I was able to eventually connect with it.

I received a free copy of this book from Delacorte Press via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


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