Series: A Right Royal Cozy Investigation #1
Published by Drew Bradley Press on October 19, 2022
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
Genres: Cozy Mystery
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Death at Francis Court Now Confirmed as Murder!
Speculation is rife that the victim, estate manager Alex Sterling (44), was found by Lady Beatrice (35), the Countess of Rossex, niece of King James. Lady Beatrice, who has finally come out of hiding following her son’s departure to boarding school, has been managing the project to refurbish and redesign the Events Suite at Francis Court, alongside Perry Juke.
Heading up the murder investigation is Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam. Rumour has it that he and Lady Beatrice have a fractious history…
Awful man! How dare Fitzwilliam suggest Lady Beatrice’s sister is the number one suspect for Alex’s murder. It could be any one of the staff who were on-site that morning. Well, she’ll show Mr High and Mighty Fitzwilliam! With her attention to detail, her clever dog Daisy, Perry’s imagination, and his partner’s contacts at Fenshire CID, they’ll find the murderer before him. And then they’ll see who’ll look like a fool. Because it won’t be Lady Beatrice, will it?
I really enjoyed Spruced Up for Murder. Lady Beatrice is a widow and now that her son has gone to boarding school, it’s time for her to come out of her self-imposed isolation. Her sister, Lady Sarah, has talked her into heading up an interior decorating project at Francis Court. Sarah also gives her an assistant, Perry Juke, who has worked on the estate for years. Perry knows Lady Beatrice has a reputation for being cold and snobby, but he agrees to take on the task anyway.
And then they find a dead body in the room they’re working in.
Lady Beatrice and Perry start investigating. They make a fun team, with their own styles and own ways of finding out information. It also helps that Perry’s partner, Simon, is a crime writer with his own CID connections. He’s also a fabulous chef. Honestly, this has all the ingredients I need in a cozy – likable characters, a cute dog, and delicious food. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam is not thrilled with their snooping, and he and Lady Beatrice tend to bring out the worst in each other.
The chemistry between all of the characters was realistic and I was sure I’d like them if I ever met them in real life. The plot moved along well. There were just enough red herrings and potential suspects. I’m looking forward to the next two in the series, For Richer, For Deader (review November 20) and Not Mushroom for Death (review December 16th).