Friday, April 14, 2023

Book Review: Murder at the Seven Dials by Cara Devlin

Title: Murder at the Seven Dials
Series: Bow Street Duchess Mystery 1
Author: Cara Devlin
Genre: Historical; Mystery
Publication Date: January 28, 2023

A murdered opera singer. A duke drenched in her blood. For Bow Street Officer Hugh Marsden, the brutal killing is a straightforward case. Ever since his exile from polite society, the chance to arrest a high and mighty peer of the realm has never presented itself. Hugh won’t snub the opportunity now.

But Audrey Sinclair, the Duchess of Fournier, is certain her husband is wrongly accused, and she’s determined to prove it to the arrogant Bow Street officer, even if she must employ her most peculiar ability—or perhaps curse—to guide her investigation. After all, a duchess can do as she pleases.

Exasperated with the meddling duchess, Hugh is convinced she is protecting her own secrets, and the duke’s. But when Audrey’s discoveries persuade him to believe the true killer is still at large, he has no choice but to join her in the hunt—if only to keep her from becoming the next victim.


*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.*

Hello Fellow Reader,

I really enjoyed this book, I was in the mood for some historic fiction but I really didn't want a romance, and Murder at the Seven Dials proved to be the perfect book to scratch that itch. First, let me just say that I am so happy that we finally have a police person that is good at their job because most of these detectives are just not good at actually investigating this. Hugh, our detective, actually contributed and helped Audrey, so it's safe to say that I really enjoyed his character. I also really enjoyed Audrey's character because she just seemed so genuine and realistic, also her bravery and tenacity really helped with pacing as she didn't just wait for things to fall into her lap. Audrey's chemistry with Hugh, and their little enemies to friends (maybe more depending on what Devlin does later) was interesting. 

Normally, I don't like enemies to whatever but it makes sense for Audrey and Hugh, especially since he arrested her husband. Now, I know what you're thinking 'Don't you hate cheating, and isn't Audrey married?' Well, yes but I don't want to give too much away but it becomes apparent pretty early on that Audrey and her Duke have a marriage of convenience. Another thing I didn't realize was important was that the main characters also had big sleuthing chemistry, as Audrey had the motivation and power while Hugh had the actual investigative knowledge. 

I did appreciate the rotating POV between Hugh and Audrey, as it gave more insight into the case and how both characters thought, and how their conclusions were met. Also, the actual murder mystery was interesting and I had a fun time trying to figure out who had done it. Although, I will admit that as soon as they introduced a specific person I immediately knew they were responsible it did not hinder my enjoyment of the book. I really enjoyed Audrey's backstory and I can't wait to find out more. I am so excited that the second book Death at Fournier Downs is out and I will be reading it.

Overall, a historical murder mystery worth reading. 

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