Friday, June 23, 2023

Book Review: A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales

Title: A Most Agreeable Murder
Author: Julia Seales
Genre: Historical; Humor; Mystery
Publication Date: June 27, 2023
Publisher: Random House

Feisty, passionate Beatrice Steele has never fit the definition of a true lady, according to the strict code of conduct that reigns in Swampshire, her small English township--she is terrible at needlework, has absolutely no musical ability, and her artwork is so bad it frightens people. Nevertheless, she lives a perfectly agreeable life with her marriage-scheming mother, prankster father, and two younger sisters-- beautiful Louisa and forgettable Mary. But she harbors a dark secret: She is obsessed with the true crime cases she reads about in the newspaper. If anyone in her etiquette-obsessed community found out, she'd be deemed a morbid creep and banished from respectable society forever.

For her family's sake, she's vowed to put her obsession behind her. Because eligible bachelor Edmund Croaksworth is set to attend the approaching autumnal ball, and the Steele family hopes that Louisa will steal his heart. If not, Martin Grub, their disgusting cousin, will inherit the family's estate, and they will be ruined or, even worse, forced to move to France. So Beatrice must be on her best behavior . . . which is made difficult when a disgraced yet alluring detective inexplicably shows up to the ball.

Beatrice is just holding things together when Croaksworth drops dead in the middle of a minuet. As a storm rages outside, the evening descends into a frenzy of panic, fear, and betrayal as it becomes clear they are trapped with a killer. Contending with competitive card games, tricky tonics, and Swampshire's infamous squelch holes, Beatrice must rise above decorum and decency to pursue justice and her own desires--before anyone else is murdered.


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

Hello Fellow Readers,

This book really should have been called Beatrice Steele's Wild Murder Mystery Ride because that's what it felt like I loved every minute of it. Considering the previous sentence it's safe to say that this is not your usual historical fiction. First, everything about Swampshire is so weird from the lady's guide with 200+ chapters to the absurd number of frogs that I knew from the description of this town that I was in for a treat. Second, Beatrice is delightful, a woman who loves true crime but needs to hide it as it's not very ladylike but of course shines when it's time for her to participate in a sudden murder at her childhood friend's home during a ball. 

Seales has such wonderfully witty and humorous writing. I love the little excepts between chapters that included letters between characters, articles, and excerpts from a play. I love how each character's voice felt different and I didn't have a hard time keeping track of any of them. I will say that the mystery murder part wasn't too suspenseful and very easy to solve but that didn't bother me as I was just entertained with everything going on.

Overall, a fun historical murder mystery. 

No comments:

Post a Comment