Q: are you a true crime fan?
Manda Collins’s A Lady’s Guide to Mischief & Mayhem has been on my radar for months because I AM TRASH for romances where the leads try to solve a crime together. Add in some enemies to lovers & a working-class hero—which I’ve waxed rhapsodically about before—& this book was a pretty scrumptious affair.
A serial killer known as the Commandments Killer is targeting people in London. Newspaper owner & widow Lady Katherine Bascomb and her plucky friend Caro think they can investigate the crimes & share their thoughts in a column written with a female audience in mind.
Their column, A Lady’s Guide to Mischief & Mayhem, reveals new info about one of the crimes, indirectly leading to the firing of honorable & capable Scotland Yard Inspector Andrew Eversham off the case & the arrest of an innocent man.
Inspector Andrew is not happy with Katherine. He wants to find the real killer. He’s especially not happy with Katherine after she attends a house party & another body turns up—is it a victim of the same serial killer?
Against his wishes Andrew & Katherine will work together to find the killer. (But only if Andrew can’t manage to sneak out for his investigations without her.)
A sage, whip-smart, & engaging romance, The Lady’s Guide has a lot to offer. Katherine is a fantastic character—she doesn’t hesitate to school Andrew repeatedly on womanhood & its restrictions, she isn’t willing to accept any less than she’s due. She *definitely* doesn’t want to be with someone (maybe kiss someone?) who only wants to coddle her.
Their disagreements are frequent & I love it because differences in thinking—like those regarding women’s place—wouldn’t be easily overcome IRL. Sometimes you have to see/hear something again & again before it finally hits you. & Andrew does eventually get it.
The mystery is intriguing, there’s some steam (though I could always use more ), & I lived over & over again for the irrepressible heroine.
4⭐️. A Lady’s Guide is out on 11/10. Thanks to Netgalley & Forever Pub & Grand Central Pub for the complimentary ARC and finished copy, respectively. All opinions provided are my own.
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