As a big fan of historical mystery books have I been
curious about the Lady
Montfort Mystery series.
So, when I got the chance to read the third book in the
series, A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME, was I thrilled to
finally see if this series would appeal to me. What
intrigued me about this book was the idea of a lady and a
housekeeper investigating murders. In the beginning of
the 20th-century is the idea of two so different women
working together in that way remarkable since they come
from different social classes. But, it works very well I
think, mostly because Lady Montfort feels like a well-
grounded person and not a snob.
In A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME is the housekeeper Mrs.
Jackson contacted by the distraught ex-cook from Hyde
Castle. She has been fired from her job after a guest
died of accidental food poisoning, but she believes that
it was not her food that killed the guest, but real
poison and she has heard that Lady Montfort is the one to
go to for help concerning problems like this. Lady
Montfort agrees to help the poor women and then she
invites herself to Hyde Castle and she brings with her
Mrs. Jackson. The man who died was an amateur rose
breeder and it's very fitting that the whole local
amateur rose breeder society is gathered there, and
possible one of them is a murderer.
Now, I have to admit that it took some time for me to
really get into the book. As much as I like reading
murder mystery books was the case not really that
appealing in the beginning because I couldn't really find
an interest with amateur rose-breeding, and the breeders.
To be honest, I was a bit worried that the story wouldn't
grab my interest because of the very slow pace. However,
there came a moment when I finally started to enjoy the
book, and that was when the pace stepped up and things
started to happen. Suddenly, the story came to life and I
wondered how it all would end.
One thing that I really liked about the book was how
Tessa Arlen incorporated the worry about the war into the
story. Here, they are in the middle of the peaceful
English countryside and Europe is on the brink of war.
Any minute now England can be at war and for Lady
Montfort is that a worrisome thought with a daughter in
France, another daughter out traveling and a son that
would have to fight in the war if it goes that far.
A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME may have started off slow for
me, but I'm glad to say that it didn't stay that way
throughout the book. I quite liked reading about Lady
Montfort and Mrs. Jackson working together and I would
without any doubt read more books in this series.
A Death by Any Other Name is a delightful Edwardian
mystery set in the English countryside. Building on the
success of her last two mysteries in the same series, Tessa
Arlen returns us to the same universe full of secrets,
intrigue, and, this time, roses.
The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper
Mrs. Jackson's services are called upon after a cook is
framed and dismissed for poisoning a guest of the Hyde Rose
Society. Promising to help her regain her job and her
dignity, the pair trek out to the countryside to investigate
a murder of concealed passions and secret desires. There,
they are to discover a villain of audacious cunning among a
group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders. While they
investigate, the rumor mill fills with talk about a conflict
over in Prussia where someone quite important was shot.
There is talk of war and they must race the clock to solve
the mystery as the idyllic English summer days count down to
the start of WWI.
Brimming with intrigue, Tessa Arlen's latest does not