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When the Countess of Wrayburn is poisoned and her paid companion becomes the prime suspect in the scandalous killing, Regency England's arbiter of fashion, Beau Brummell, turns amateur sleuth to investigate and discovers that there is more than one person with a motive for murder.
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Rosemary Stevens lives outside Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two children. She has published several novels set in Regency England. She is also the author of Death on a Silver Tray, the first Beau Brummell mystery.From Publishers Weekly:
George Bryan "Beau" Brummell, the arbiter of fashion in Regency England, may seem an unlikely protagonist for a crime novel, but Stevens, author of four Regency romances, brings off this debut mystery with great ?lan. The night after the dowager Countess Wrayburn makes an unpleasant scene at an art exhibition, the old harridan is found dead in her bed, helped on her way with a little poison added to her evening glass of milk. The police office in Bow Street immediately suspects her paid companion, Miss Rebecca Ashton, whom the countess hired at the urging of the Duchess of York. Before Miss Ashton is arrested, the duchess asks Beau to help clear the young woman's name. The duchess's reputation, as well as Miss Ashton's life, is at stake. How can a gentleman refuse? Indeed, after his initial investigations, Brummell's own reputation is at risk. Beau Brummell often appears in Regencies as a two-dimensional figure, but here he has real character, intelligence and wit. Stevens includes a delightful group of secondary characters, some fictional, some not. With an excellent ear for the language of the time, she captures the spirit (and some of the smells) of Regency London. Cat fans will appreciate her theory on the introduction of an exotic feline strain into England. Readers of both historical mysteries and Regency romances will eagerly await sequels. (May)
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