I am so excited to have Kate Parker drop by today for a visit to tell us about The Conspiring Woman.
The Conspiring Woman, Book #4 of the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, begins a few months after The Royal Assassin ends in the deepest part of winter. Georgia gets a new case from a father about his missing son. The child is only seven. Georgia is terrified for the child until the father adds the boy was last seen with his mother. The father doesn’t want his wife returned.
As Georgia begins to investigate, she learns about other well-to-do women who have vanished into the London fog. How she wishes she had the help of her closest confidants, but Emma is on her honeymoon, Aunt Phyllida is nursing a friend through a serious illness, and the Duke of Blackford is in the States checking out his investments.
Georgia finds the forward thinking daughter of the aristocracy who has been hiding the woman and her son. When the wealthy mother’s body is fished out of the Thames, Georgia returns to take the child to his father, only to discover the boy, her heir, is missing. And then the weather worsens.
As a bonus, the first chapter of the first book in a new series, Deadly Scandal, set in London in the late 1930’s is included.
About The Author
Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery novels, and now she can’t write a story without someone being murdered in some fiendish way. It’s taken her years to convince her husband she hasn’t poisoned dinner; that funny taste is because she can’t cook. Her children have grown up to be surprisingly normal, but two of them are developing their own love of literary mayhem, so the term “normal” may have to be revised.
Her love of history has led her to write the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, Regency novellas in Christmas Revels and Christmas Revels II, and a new series next year she’s calling the Deadly series. In all cases, bodies drop, clues are followed, and an intrepid lady sleuth saves the day. She can be reached at www.kateparkerbooks.com and on Facebook.
The Conspiring Woman
(Victorian Bookshop Mysteries)
4th in Series
Setting – London – UK
JDP Press (October 4, 2015)
Paperback: 302 pages
E-Book ASIN: B015RZOK30
The fourth in the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series. Georgia Fenchurch must find a missing boy and his mother. When the mother is found dead, the race is on to find the child. Georgia searches to learn who was behind the mother’s murder and the disappearance of not only this woman, but several more well-to-do women in late Victorian London. Meanwhile, Georgia is counting the days until the Duke of Blackford returns from his business trip to America. As much as she wants to see him, she fears he will return with a rich American bride like so many other British aristocrats. Can she rescue the young boy and win the duke?
I am so sorry to see this series ending. It truly is one of my favorites. Kate has wrapped things up with a magnificent bow.
The Archivist Society has a new case. A woman and her son are missing and strangely the husband only wants his son found. This raises many flags for Georgia especially when the mother is murdered. Sir Edward becomes her prime suspect. She travels all over London to find the boy and when she finds him she has huge reservations about reuniting him with his father.
The Duke of Blackford is traveling about America and Georgia can’t wait until he returns. She is afraid he may have found a bride while he was gone. His letters don’t ease her fears.
Kate Parker transports us to Victorian England. The imagery is superb. I don’t think I could ever live in England with all that rain but the cover of the book looks so inviting at this time of year.
The characters in the series are some of the most enjoyable I have known. Georgia seems to have no fear and her inquisitive nature makes her a top-notch sleuth. Blackford is quite a gentleman and needs a woman like Georgia. Sir Broderick deals with a disability on a daily basis but leads The Archivist Society and negotiates the sales of treasured books better than anyone else could. As a disabled person myself it is so good to read about a man like him. All of the characters are wonderfully created and so full of depth.
In addition to the missing boy mystery, the author also wraps up the mystery of Georgia Fenchurch parent’s death and the incident that left Sir Broderick in a wheelchair. I was very surprised with the way this played out. What people would do for a rare book is just astounding.
Things do wrap up quickly because the author did not want to leave her readers hanging. When a publisher ends a series the author often doesn’t know until the last book has been released. I applaud Kate Parker for self publishing this last book. I would love to read more about these characters but am excited to know she has a new series in the works. She shares the first chapter of Deadly Scandal with us and it looks very promising.
I have loved every book in this series. The trips back in time are so captivating. I recommend reading this series in order to follow the progression but they each can be read on their own. Thank you Kate for sharing Georgia and her friends with us.
I am giving away my review copy!!
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Murder at Honeychurch Hall:
New Cozy Mystery Series
Minotaur Books (May 13, 2014)
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 1030 KB
Kat Stanford is just days away from starting her dream antique business with her newly widowed mother Iris when she gets a huge shock. Iris has recklessly purchased a dilapidated carriage house at Honeychurch Hall, an isolated country estate located several hundred miles from London.
Yet it seems that Iris isn’t the only one with surprises at Honeychurch Hall. Behind the crumbling façade, the inhabitants of the stately mansion are a lively group of eccentrics to be sure—both upstairs and downstairs —and they all have more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet.
When the nanny goes missing, and Vera, the loyal housekeeper ends up dead in the grotto, suspicions abound. Throw in a feisty, octogenarian countess, a precocious seven year old who is obsessed with the famous fighter pilot called Biggles, and a treasure trove of antiques, and there is more than one motive for murder.
As Iris’s past comes back to haunt her, Kat realizes she hardly knows her mother at all. A when the bodies start piling up, it is up to Kat to unravel the tangled truth behind the murders at Honeychurch Hall.
I knew before I finished the first chapter I was going to love this story.
Iris is a very independent woman especially now that her husband has passed away. She also has a couple of secrets. Her relationship with her daughter Kat reminded me so much of my relationship with my own very independent mother. All are stubborn women and hate having anyone tell them what to do. The dialogue between Iris and Kat was spot on and at time absolutely hilarious.
Kat has come to Honeychurch Hall to help her mother but to also find out why she left London and where this leaves their plans to go into business together. Kat has left her job on the telly for a few reasons but she thought she was leaving to follow her dream of opening an antique shop. Her mother can’t seriously want to live in this broken down carriage house surrounded by a bunch a crazy people. The nanny has already left, the child has quite the imagination, he pretends he is Biggles, is a fictional pilot and adventurer, and spends his days chasing down missing pilots and hiding from the enemy. The matriarch of Honeychurch Hall may be in the early stages of dementia or is she just trying to pull one on her family. Her son has his own ideas on what to do with Honeychurch Hall. The maid had a heck of a shoe obsession and she is the one Kat finds dead in the garden tunnel.
There is so much happening in this story. We meet some very extraordinary characters and they are all twisted into an incredible mystery. This story was a pure joy to read. I hated to see it end. I can’t wait for the next one. Write fast please Hannah!!!
About The Author
Born in England, Hannah relocated to Los Angeles with her daughter and two cats to pursue a career in screenwriting. Along the road to publication she has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Hannah is the author of the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable UK) and the first, in her new series, “Murder at Honeychurch Hall” (Minotaur). Now living in Portland, Oregon Hannah continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA, has served on numerous judging committees for the Mystery Writers of America and still works part-time for a west coast advertising agency. She is married to an advertising executive and enjoys hiking, horseback riding, skiing and seriously good chocolate. http://www.hannahdennison.com
A Frieda Klein Novel
2nd in Series
Pamela Dorman Books (April 4, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 384 pages
E-Book File Size: 813 KB
In this follow up to Blue Monday psychotherapist Frieda Klein returns to help Chief Inspector Karlsson. A London social worker making a routine home visit discovers her client serving tea to a naked decomposing corpse. Frieda is asked to help identify the man and what she finds is a complex web of lies and half truths that all eventually seem to connect back to her.
As I have come to expect from Nicci French this story is a complex puzzle with dynamic characters and ongoing tension just beneath the surface.
There is so much happening in this story. More layers are pealed away as we get to know more about our protagonist, Frieda Klein. She seems to keep making headlines as a book is released about a former case and Frieda is portrayed in a very poor light. All the officers involved in the current case are not happy to have her consulting as she believes there is much more to the case than meets the eye. She is also very conflicted about the course of her personal life as a new man appears to be interested but she hasn’t dealt with her feeling for a former love that moved away.
Michelle Doyce has been placed in a mental institution but Frieda was able to determine the identity of her guest for tea. But “Robert Poole” seems to be a con man who had ran scams on several people including a nice elderly woman. She was lonely after losing her husband and her sons only visited when they needed something, like her money. She was the perfect choice for a man like “Bob”. Bob turns out to be quite an enigma.
Josef and Reuben also return in this installment. Josef has returned from Kiev with an enormous weight upon his shoulders and both Frieda and Reuben are both trying to be supportive.
As I said the whole story is a complex puzzle and not everything falls into place before that last page. I found myself reading this story very slowly to catch every nuance and clue and I am still not sure I caught them all. It is best to read these books in order because they do build off of each other. Then you will be like me. impatiently Waiting for Wednesday.
To find out more about Nicci French check out this website.