Murder Most Malicious Book Review

Murder Most Malicious Book Review

Title: Murder Most Malicious
Author: Alyssa Maxwell
Published: 2015, Kensington
No. of Pages: 304
Cover Price: $25.00 Hardcover, $11.99 Kindle

Murder Most Malicious is the first book in A Lady and Lady’s Maid series by Alyssa Maxwell. The time period is just after WW1, and set in England on the Foxwood Estate owned by the wealthy Earl of Wroxly. During this period of time, the gentry had dozens of servants, and Foxwood is no exception. Eva Huntford is the ladies maid to Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her two sisters, Julia and Amelia, but knows her place as a servant. It is traditional to hand out gift boxes to the servants on Boxing Day, which is a day off for the servants, and Eva travels to her parents’ home to spend her holiday. When she opens the box and removes some embroidered handkerchiefs, she discovers a severed finger underneath the card. Because the finger is still wearing a signet ring belonging to Lord Allerton, a guest at Foxwood over Christmas, it is assumed it belongs to him. Actually, several others find severed fingers in their boxes, and Lord Allerton is missing and presumed murdered. After the police investigate, they arrest one of the servants, but both Phoebe and Eva know he is innocent. They must band together and shed their proper roles to find the real murderer.

History buffs, especially those who enjoy European history will be immediately taken in with this novel. The author has obviously done her research of the period, and the story rings true. Maxwell’s writing style is simple and concise. She is able to characterize those in the story so that they seem real. The events happening at the estate, and the interaction between the servants and the gentry are fascinating, and there is plenty of suspense, as well as a surprise ending.

While several reviewers have complained that the book is slow-moving, I believe that the author has been meticulous in laying out the plot and giving enough information to make readers actually think. Readers who enjoy books that are poorly written and tabloid-style which appeal to the LCD (lowest common denominator), eliminating the need to think, may not like this book. But readers who enjoy suspense and enjoy trying to figure out who the murderer is and are willing to use their brains will enjoy it.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book for a fair and honest review.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Murder Most Malicious (A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery), Hardcover
Murder Most Malicious (A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery), Kindle

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