Monday, May 15, 2023

Book Review: The Benevolent Society of Ill- Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman


Title: The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies
Author: Alison Goodman
Genre: Historical; Mystery
Publication Date: May 30, 2023
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

A high society amateur detective at the heart of Regency London uses her wits and invisibility as an ‘old maid’ to protect other women in a new and fiercely feminist historical mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman.

Lady Augusta Colebrook, “Gus,” is determinedly unmarried, bored by society life, and tired of being dismissed at the age of forty-two. She and her twin sister, Julia, who is grieving her dead betrothed, need a distraction. One soon presents to rescue their friend’s goddaughter, Caroline, from her violent husband.

The sisters set out to Caroline’s country estate with a plan, but their carriage is accosted by a highwayman. In the scuffle, Gus accidentally shoots and injures the ruffian, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who was charged with murder and exiled to Australia twenty years ago. What follows is a high adventure full of danger, clever improvisation, heart-racing near misses, and a little help from a revived and rather charming Lord Evan.

Back in London, Gus can’t stop thinking about her unlikely (not to mention handsome) comrade-in-arms. She is convinced Lord Evan was falsely accused of murder, and she is going to prove it. She persuades Julia to join her in a quest to help Lord Evan, and others in need—society be damned! And so begins the beguiling secret life and adventures of the Colebrook twins.


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

Hello Fellow Reader,

Oh my gosh, how have I been sleeping on Alison Goodman? I now have to scour the internet looking for all her novels because if they are anything like The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies, Goodman may be my new must-buy author. This cover doesn't do this book justice, the pretty pastel colors make you think this may be a light-hearted cozy mystery but little do you know this covers some dark heavy topics in its pages. 

Goodman has absolutely hooked me with this book, which I hope is a series (I am pretty sure it is) because I will need to read the right away. I immediately fell in love with the logical, witty, and brave Augusta/Gus who although she takes a lot of risks in her need to help people (some of which I didn't agree with) is just absolutely divine. I even love Julia who plays the straight-woman to Augusta's rashness. I even loved the romance with Lord Evan, who I also really liked.

There are three cases, plus one over-arching case, all of which were incredibly interesting and different from each other. I love that despite the restrictions that Gus has because she is a woman she still goes above and beyond and gets things done. There were a few times that Like Gus I wanted to rage at how dismissive and stifling some of the men were, especially Duffy, Gus and Julia's brother. 

Overall, I loved this book and will be waiting with bated breath for a second one. 

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