Joan Smith Murder Will Speak

ISBN 13: 9780449224656

Murder Will Speak

3.43 avg rating
( 70 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780449224656: Murder Will Speak

Return to the dazzling ballrooms and magnificent salons of Regency England for a delightful tale of mystery and romance. . . .

The lovely young widow Corinne deCoventry lived a wonderful life as sole female member of the Berkeley Brigade, a quartet of young aristocrats and acknowledged leaders of the ton. Yet when Corinne wore the famous deCoventry pearls to the mystery ball, she soon came to regret it.

Swept off her feet by a masked Robin Hood who stole a kiss before stealing her necklace, she unexpectedly landed in mystery . . . and murder. The dashing Lord Luten rallied to her side. But his intentions were suspect when Corinne discovered that the killer lurked dangerously close to home!

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The author of over a hundred romances and mysteries (Full Stop, p. 410, etc.) introduces the Berkeley Brigade--a four-person group of friends who are neighbors in Regency London--as they set out to find the priceless pearl necklace stolen from one of their number: Corinne, Lady de Coventry--a widow at 21 and due, by law, to deliver the pearls to her late husband's family in a few days. The pearls were stolen by a guest dressed as Robin Hood, at a masquerade ball given by man-about-town Lord Luten, unofficial leader of the clique that includes Corinne, her cousin Coffen Pattle, and Sir Reginald Prance, an intelligent dandy. The four question London's jewelers and known fences about the pearls, then try to find the source of the costume worn by the thief. But the episode takes on a threatening air when Rosie Grimm, the woman who may have provided the outfit, is found strangled, and the man who wore it is later found shot to death. Luten is sure that Harry, Corinne's feckless young nephew, is behind it all and goes to elaborate lengths to prove it, while Corinne tries to make contact with the redheaded woman who accompanied the masquerading thief, putting herself in danger from an unexpected source. A constant flow of carriage trips, lunches, dinners, balls, theaters, and various assignations define the period's upper class, but the plot and dialogue here turn vapid and silly long before the hackneyed finale. No treat for romance or mystery fans. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Pallid both as a thriller and a romance (or a spoof), this Regency mystery features four foppish aristocrats in search of a killer. Corinne, Dowager Countess deCoventry, "still" ravishing at 24, has her fabulously entailed family pearls plucked from her throat by a rogue dressed as Robin Hood at a masquerade ball. She noticed that his hands were rough and he spoke with a French accent. Armed with this information, her three good friends?Lord Luten (the leader of the Ton, or fashionable London), Sir Reginald Prance (a witless dandy) and Coffen Pattle (agreeable and rich)?band together to track down the invaluable gems. Collectively known as the Berkeley Brigade (they all live on Berkeley Square), they ferret out a Drury Lane seamstress who provided the Robin Hood costume. She is obviously frightened and is later discovered strangled. Utilizing their best skills (mostly arrogant sneers, haughty smiles and bored drawls), the foursome discover the Robin Hood impostor, now also dead. A whirlwind farce follows, with interviews in glittering ballrooms populated with bejeweled women and rakish men. Enfeebled prose ("She had hair like spun silk... her lips were ripe and red as cherries") does little to enrich this hapless story by the author of over 100 Regency romances... and a few mysteries (Behold, A Mystery!, 1994).
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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