The society wedding of the decade has everything: the blushing bride, beautiful flowers… and the groom arrested before he can walk down the aisle? Thank goodness Lady Swift is on the guest list!
Lady Eleanor Swift isn’t normally one for grand social occasions, but who can resist a wedding? Especially when it’s her old friend, Constance Grainger, marrying the most eligible bachelor in town, Lord Peregrine Davencourt. Eleanor is taking Gladstone the bulldog as her plus one, with a smart new bowtie to match her bridesmaid’s dress.
But the big day is ruined when the groom is arrested for murder before he makes it to the altar. In a baffling twist, it turns out he was already engaged to the lovely Daisy Balforth, who has been found dead at the local inn with Lord Davencourt kneeling over her. The gossip pages will have a field day!
The distraught bride-to-be asks Eleanor to clear her fiancé’s name, as she’s certain he wouldn’t hurt a fly. With help from handsome Detective Seldon, Eleanor examines the evidence. But she’s barely had time to write down her suspect list before Constance’s father is set upon by a bearded stranger on the golf course. Clearly there is more to this story than Eleanor first thought, but can she catch the real killer before the wedding turns into her wake?
A delightfully gripping historical cozy whodunnit full of intrigue and wit. Fans of T E Kinsey, Agatha Christie and Lee Strauss will be totally charmed.
Bravo, Verity Bright! You have once again charmed me with the adventures of Lady Eleanor and her (so much more than just a) butler, Clifford. Bonus points for Gladstone the bulldog wearing a bow tie. I am smitten!
Here we find Eleanor trying to help clear the good name of Lord Peregrine Davencourt, her best friend Constance Grainger’s fiancé. It seems he was previously engaged and hadn’t mentioned this to Constance. Now Daisy, his former fiancée, has brought a breach of contract action against him. But before Eleanor can solve that matter, Lord Davencourt finds himself the focus of a murder charge when he’s found kneeling over Daisy’s dead body.
There is so much to be delighted by in this book! Eleanor is looking into matters with her usual flair and disregard for personal safety and decorum, and Clifford is doing his best to keep her out of trouble. I think she’s wearing down his expectation that she will ever conform to proper “lady of the manor” behavior. I love their relationship, their banter, the fact that Clifford is often exasperated by his mistress’ non-conformity but still supports her in her endeavors.
And in this instance, Chief Inspector Hugh Seldon actually asks for Eleanor’s help. He’s still nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs that she will heedlessly put herself in harm’s way, but the force is short-handed, and he’s grateful for her assistance, even if he’s anxious about her safety. We get to see their relationship progress a little further, although still very much at a slow-burn pace, and we learn a little more about Hugh’s background and personal life. I love that!
The historical detail that Bright provides is, as always, spot on and well researched. I didn’t know about the Women’s Institute, and it was an interesting topic to learn about. The notes at the end of the book are a nice touch – don’t miss them!
Death Down the Aisle is another five-star read from Verity Bright. If you love a good cozy mystery with a little romance and some history to boot, you need to read this book!