The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths by Olivier Barde-Cabuçon

The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths by Olivier Barde-Cabuçon

The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths is the first in a series by Barde-Cabuçon, but it's the only one currently translated to English. Hopefully, they'll get around to the rest soon because I really enjoyed it. The story takes place in 1759 Paris, somewhere between the shiny halls of Versailles ruled by debauched Louis XV and his cohorts, and the dirty, dangerous hovels of Parisian suburbs inhabited by the desperately poor. The general population of Paris is seething with resentment, misery, and anger, on the brink of revolution, while the elites seem oblivious to both the inequity and the risks.On the streets of Paris, a horribly mutilated body of a young woman is discovered; the inquiry into her death quickly leads into dangerous territory – to the boudoirs of Versailles, where terminally bored Louis XV is mostly preoccupied with his newest sexual conquests. The detective who has taken on the case is Chevalier de Volnay, named the Inspector of...
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An Old Money Murder in Mayfair by Sara Rosett

An Old Money Murder in Mayfair by Sara Rosett

Olive is staying at the home of her school friend, Gigi, and enjoying the champagne lifestyle of the ‘bright young things’ of the 1920s while employed to look into Gigi's grandmother's fears that someone is trying to hurt her. Of course, grandmother does end up being killed, and several people have motives, not the least of whom is Gigi. If her grandmother did change her will like she threatened, it would be Gigi who was left out in the cold. I enjoy this series. The regular characters feel like old friends and the plots are entertaining. I adore all the 1920s details - the fashion, etiquette, and colloquialism. It also paints a good picture of the gap between the servants, the upper class who have money, and the upper class who don't, like Olive. This feels in a lot of ways like a vintage mystery. It's an easy read, without any real violence or graphic scenes. It's well-written and the solution was...
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A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

I have a tendency to read most Holmes knock-offs I come across. A Study in Scarlet Women was free with Audible's new Plus program. Sherlock is actually Charlotte Holmes. Charlotte is socially awkward, but , of course, incredibly observant and intelligent. She creates Sherlock so she is allowed to solve mysteries and problems. Women at the time are not expected to be able to manage on their own, let alone to be smarted than the police. I like that Charlotte makes her own choices and is trying to live life on her own terms. She teams up with Mrs. Watson, a widow who used to be on stage, to set up the whole "consulting detective" business/Sherlock deception. I do love both of these women, tough, independent, but also vulnerable in their own ways. This time, the main mystery centers on three deaths, supposedly natural connections, but Charlotte knows they are related murders. And proving who the killer was matters, if only...
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Murder in Black Tie by Sara Rosett

Murder in Black Tie by Sara Rosett

Olive Belgrave is about to be homeless as her landlady is getting married and selling the boardinghouse. She packs up and heads back to Nether Woodsmoor to visit her family at Parkview Manor. Aunt Caroline and cousin Gwen are hosting a house party for a small group of friends and family, including Olive's father and his wife Sonia. Olive is happy to see her cousin Peter recovering from the trauma of the war but he isn't himself yet and when a guest is murdered, Peter becomes the number one suspect. Clearly Olive need to clear Peter's name. This is a 1920s country house party murder mystery chock full of period details, especially fashion. The history of Parkview being used as a hospital during the war and how the characters were involved with that was interesting. I like the limited cast in house party mysteries. Our murder victim, Vincent Payne, is a businessman in the antique map business, maybe not wholly...
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The Egyptian Antiquities Murder by Sara Rosett

I'm on a bit of a roll with these High Society Lady Detective mysteries. The Egyptian Antiquities Murder takes us to Mulvern House where Olive Belgrave meets with Lady Agnes about her uncle’s death, a death that has been ruled a suicide. Lady Agnes is sure her uncle was murdered. Many think an old curse was responsible for Lord Mulvern's death, but of course once Olive starts to investigate she realizes that Lady Agnes is right. Now Olive just needs to figure out whodunit and why. The author introduces us to several new characters. Lady Agnes wants to keep her uncles vision alive, unlike the other heirs. Her brother Gilbert and his wife Nora care mainly about the money and themselves making them suspects on Olive’s list. The Lord’s valet/butler received a generous bequest and retired so he too lands on her list. There are several others interested in obtaining the collection and the digging location that comes with it. There...
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Murder at Archly Manor by Sara Rosett

Murder at Archly Manor by Sara Rosett

Aristocratic, but down on her luck, Olive Belgrave is searching for employment in 1920’s London, which is a fun time period if you're reading about society. Not as fun for servants or other lower classes, I'm sure, but they were not the main characters here. This is about people with money or standing or both. However, even Olive's connections aren’t getting her anywhere when she receives a telegram to return to her family estate. Olive’s cousin, Violet, has become engaged to Alfred Eton, a young man whose life in the India and his family are a bit of a mystery. He may not be a suitable match at all. Aunt Caroline employs Olive to use her skills and social connections to find out more about him, offering her a generous fee. Olive heads off to an extravagant house party hosted by photographer Sebastian Blakely, Alfred’s wealthy godfather and friend. Her plan is to mingle with the partygoers and find out more...
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