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A Treacherous Performance

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Having inexplicably nabbed the Duke of Kesgrave, twenty-six-year-old spinster Beatrice Hyde-Clare is determined to marry him at once and no amount of handwringing from anxious family members, worried friends and well-meaning acquaintances will convince her to delay. Except…maybe she is a little swayed by her uncle’s efforts to make amends for treating her with cold indiffe Having inexplicably nabbed the Duke of Kesgrave, twenty-six-year-old spinster Beatrice Hyde-Clare is determined to marry him at once and no amount of handwringing from anxious family members, worried friends and well-meaning acquaintances will convince her to delay. Except…maybe she is a little swayed by her uncle’s efforts to make amends for treating her with cold indifference during her childhood. And her aunt’s concern about the growing scandal around her unfortunate habit of unmasking murderers in the middle of society events isn’t entirely unfounded. And then there’s the truly unfathomable appearance on her doorstep of the former Miss Brougham, the spiteful heiress whose cruel taunts derailed Bea’s social career. Remarkably, the society matron has a mystery to solve and knows Bea is the only person who can help her. A dead grandfather, a missing jewel, a cryptic letter, an opportunity to condescend to her archnemesis—the case seems simple enough. And yet somehow it all goes terribly, horribly wrong. A Regency Cozy.


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Having inexplicably nabbed the Duke of Kesgrave, twenty-six-year-old spinster Beatrice Hyde-Clare is determined to marry him at once and no amount of handwringing from anxious family members, worried friends and well-meaning acquaintances will convince her to delay. Except…maybe she is a little swayed by her uncle’s efforts to make amends for treating her with cold indiffe Having inexplicably nabbed the Duke of Kesgrave, twenty-six-year-old spinster Beatrice Hyde-Clare is determined to marry him at once and no amount of handwringing from anxious family members, worried friends and well-meaning acquaintances will convince her to delay. Except…maybe she is a little swayed by her uncle’s efforts to make amends for treating her with cold indifference during her childhood. And her aunt’s concern about the growing scandal around her unfortunate habit of unmasking murderers in the middle of society events isn’t entirely unfounded. And then there’s the truly unfathomable appearance on her doorstep of the former Miss Brougham, the spiteful heiress whose cruel taunts derailed Bea’s social career. Remarkably, the society matron has a mystery to solve and knows Bea is the only person who can help her. A dead grandfather, a missing jewel, a cryptic letter, an opportunity to condescend to her archnemesis—the case seems simple enough. And yet somehow it all goes terribly, horribly wrong. A Regency Cozy.

30 review for A Treacherous Performance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The characters and their various egotistical personalities really make this series. The mystery itself I generally enjoyed but did not love. I find the disguises improbable. And I do NOT understand why the aunt and uncle have to have this great change of heart. I liked the aunt better when she was assuring the Duke he could still back out. But it is all still quite funny. The biggest problem, though it isn't as bad as the last book, is that Beatrice continues to suffer from angsty mood swings. An The characters and their various egotistical personalities really make this series. The mystery itself I generally enjoyed but did not love. I find the disguises improbable. And I do NOT understand why the aunt and uncle have to have this great change of heart. I liked the aunt better when she was assuring the Duke he could still back out. But it is all still quite funny. The biggest problem, though it isn't as bad as the last book, is that Beatrice continues to suffer from angsty mood swings. And there is no subtly about it. We're told, not really shown, everything. In fact, the book even acknowledges this! "But the deadening repetition of her insecurities was precisely the problem, and she could not imagine anything more tedious than being called upon to soothe the same anxieties over and over." Alas, if only Miss Hyde-Clare had as much sympathy for the reader as she does her fiance. Otherwise, this truly is a fun book and I'm delighted with the entire series. I eagerly await the next one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Hours from marrying the handsome Duke of Kesgrave, Damien Matlock, Beatrice is besieged by family and friends to delay her nuptials. She is resistant to all their meddling until her uncle starts showing an interest in her opinions and her archnemesis comes calling to beg for her assistance in solving a mystery. Bea will gladly see her archnemesis beholden to her for her cleverness. And so everyone compromises to post-pone the wedding by one week. But then everything begins to go wrong, nothing a Hours from marrying the handsome Duke of Kesgrave, Damien Matlock, Beatrice is besieged by family and friends to delay her nuptials. She is resistant to all their meddling until her uncle starts showing an interest in her opinions and her archnemesis comes calling to beg for her assistance in solving a mystery. Bea will gladly see her archnemesis beholden to her for her cleverness. And so everyone compromises to post-pone the wedding by one week. But then everything begins to go wrong, nothing as expected, and their lives will be put at risk once more. _________________________ A Treacherous Performance is the fifth book in Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries series. This book was a bit slow and there was a definite lag in the middle when all that really happened was constantly question suspects with out really getting any closer to the culprit. And there was no sense of danger during that lag, which made it even slower for me. It had great start that was really very amusing and the ending was great too. Really it was that bit in the middle that brought this from 5 stars down to 4 stars for me. I was sp happy for Flora, after slowly growing and developing into a better character in the background, she is finally coming into her own and following in her cousin's foot steps and stepping outside of the conventional role set for a young lady. This addition to the series has not been my favorite, but I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I will never tire of the ridiculousness that is Beatrice and her sleuthing alongside Damien. I'm very happy that the series isn't over yet and that there will be another book in the series, which I greatly look forward to reading. _____ I read this book with my Kindle Unlimited membership.

  3. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Fresh off her confrontation with a dastardly villain, Beatrice Hyde-Clare can't wait to marry her beloved Damien, Duke of Kesgrave - TODAY! Bea is amused by Aunt Vera's attempts to avoid associating with aristocracy lest she be forced to spend money while Bea's cousins can't wait to spend their parents' money on whatever they want that will make them of the ton. Aunt Vera even suggests postponing the wedding... as so to let the gossip about Bea's confrontation die down. Even the Dowager Duchess Fresh off her confrontation with a dastardly villain, Beatrice Hyde-Clare can't wait to marry her beloved Damien, Duke of Kesgrave - TODAY! Bea is amused by Aunt Vera's attempts to avoid associating with aristocracy lest she be forced to spend money while Bea's cousins can't wait to spend their parents' money on whatever they want that will make them of the ton. Aunt Vera even suggests postponing the wedding... as so to let the gossip about Bea's confrontation die down. Even the Dowager Duchess agrees. Bea would ignore them all if not for her uncle's attempt to connect with her - finally - after 20 years under his roof. Damien manages to talk their elders into a ONE WEEK delay only and then he and Bea will finally be man and wife and not have to stop their clandestine meetings. While Damien deals with the family drama, Bea receives a call from her archnemesis, the former Miss Broughm, now Mrs. Norton, who ruined Bea's only Season. Mrs. Norton has a problem only Bea's powers of observation and persuasion can solve. There's a mystery about a grandfather's lost Persian jewel and Bea is determined to be the better person and help her rival. When Bea finally has an inkling that all is not as it should be, she is ready to quit the job but then she stumbles across another dead body and launches another murder investigation. This time she's determined not to do anything without Kesgrave by her side. This is the best book in the series yet! I liked the relationship plot more than the mystery but the mystery is very good. I figured out why and also later who but didn't put the two together because of all the red herrings. I was eager to find out how it all played out. I had a very hard time putting the book down. I love Bea! She's such a classic introvert INTJ personality type. I can easily relate to what she's thinking and feeling. If I were in her situation, I'd be thinking and feeling the same things. Readers must remember that she was basically emotionally abused her whole life and never brought up to think anything of herself. She was a Fanny Price until she met Kesgrave over a dead body. She still has moments of intense introspection that lead to self-doubt. Marrying a Duke is a huge deal! I admire her ability to ignore the gossips. I also love her faith in Damien and how much they love each other. *squee*!!!! What can I say about him? They're so perfect for each other. I love their joking sparring matches and how Bea doesn't back down even though he's a Duke. I love how much he loves her for her belief in him and for the way she teases him out of his haughtiness. He can't escape being a Duke any more than Bea can escape her past but together, they're an incredible pair. He always knows what she's thinking and tries to help her believe in herself. I don't think he'll find that tedious but continue to help her grow and become comfortable as a Duchess. They are such a cute couple. Sadly, no wedding occurs in this novel just yet. Bea's family is so laughably awful. Aunt Vera can't escape her middle class origins. I like when she gets flustered in the presence of Kesgrave and how cheap she is. I wonder if she's really cheap or if they just don't have the money to live that lavish lifestyle? Uncle Horace is trying hard to make up for lost time. I appreciate the effort and how much it means to Bea. Flora is rather sweet and funny. I was surprised and pleased with her story arc. Her brother, on the other hand, is spoiled and stupid where Flora is quick witted. I see an interesting future for her. The former Miss Broughm is a classic mean girl. She is stupid, selfish and unimaginative. Actually, all the villainous characters are the same way. The members of the ton are the worst. They are petty and vindictive for no good reason. Mrs. Ralston lives for gossip and enjoys ruining the reputations of others. She apparently gets away with it because of her social status. She may be the worst of the lot. Lord Tavistock can't really be blamed for his motive but his methods are really shocking even for the ton. The theater people are an eccentric and mostly enjoyable lot. Mr. Smeeton, the manager is not so bad. Mr. Latham, the star actor is vain, egotistical and pompous. He may be good looking but that's about it. Hobson aka Mr. Rose didn't deserve his fate but he sure went about his job in the wrong way! He didn't set the plot in motion but even I predicted what must have happened surely he should have figured someone would overhear! Miss Helen Andrews is a beautiful ninnyhammer but she seems to have a sharper side. I got some animosity and jealousy vibes off her. I especially like Miss Drake, the owner's daughter. She's a shrewd businesswoman and well aware of the gender inequalities of her day. I don't admire her for having to find a workaround. Fairbrother, who was injured on set, seems gruff, rough and perhaps secretive. Miss Colcott may be the leading actress but she's not a diva. I like her practical nature and her astuteness. The supporting players are a genial lot but not memorable. This theater seems like a good one. Fans of the series will love this latest installment and be eager to read the next one in the spring. Newcomers, don't start here! There are numerous spoilers for the previous books and then you also miss the character development and relationship story arc. I noticed two spelling errors for the names of Shakespeare characters. After 400 years I would think everyone would know how to spell Lady Macbeth and Titania (not Tatiana). Content: Passionate kissing, light making out- they're engaged but not married yet so Kesgrave is trying to remain pure and not ruin Bea's reputation any farther.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Twilie

    It was a struggle to finish this one. I've read all of the others in the series and was looking forward to this one when it came out. It was as pedantic as Kesgrave, or at least as pedantic as Bea accuses him of being in every chapter. Though there were a few interesting characters added to the plot, Bea herself bored and irritated me. The way she treats Kesgrave... If you were to flip it around and the dynamics were changed to a man treating her the way she treats him, it would easily be called It was a struggle to finish this one. I've read all of the others in the series and was looking forward to this one when it came out. It was as pedantic as Kesgrave, or at least as pedantic as Bea accuses him of being in every chapter. Though there were a few interesting characters added to the plot, Bea herself bored and irritated me. The way she treats Kesgrave... If you were to flip it around and the dynamics were changed to a man treating her the way she treats him, it would easily be called "mansplaining". With all of the other installments in this series, I love the dynamic she and Kesgrave have. I love how obvious it is that they love each other and consider the other to be the equal. That didn't quite come across. There were whole chapters where Kesgrave played no part in the plot. I noted that multiple times and thought it was odd. Then the next chapter the author half explains it away with some of Bea's "woman-splaining" it didn't make sense. Overall, I really love this series and really wanted to like this one, but it just isn't for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    BJ

    I didn't enjoy this book at all, skipped so many pages because it was boring. The H has a special license but the heroine allows herself to be lured into a trap instead of marrying her gorgeous duke. I disliked this plot as she acted out of character when she put their lives at risk. I didn't enjoy this book at all, skipped so many pages because it was boring. The H has a special license but the heroine allows herself to be lured into a trap instead of marrying her gorgeous duke. I disliked this plot as she acted out of character when she put their lives at risk.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maymay

    OMG I love this series 😍

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    With sparkling dialogue between Bea and her duke and plenty of absurd social and investigative situations, the latest entry in this series will not disappoint those who are already fans of Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare, the (anything but) drab and dreary spinster. In this installment, Bea has to confront her (self-described) archnemesis. Did you know that a well brought up young lady in the Regency era could have an archnemesis? Well, Bea does, and the existence of such a person has a major impact on With sparkling dialogue between Bea and her duke and plenty of absurd social and investigative situations, the latest entry in this series will not disappoint those who are already fans of Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare, the (anything but) drab and dreary spinster. In this installment, Bea has to confront her (self-described) archnemesis. Did you know that a well brought up young lady in the Regency era could have an archnemesis? Well, Bea does, and the existence of such a person has a major impact on her self-image in the past and present. The former Miss Brougham (now Mrs. Norton) pops up and offers Bea a puzzle too good to resist, in spite of the fact that she's about to get married--and already has a reputation in serious need of shoring up. Bea's path to valuing herself properly has been ongoing for the past several novels, and although most of the novel is played for comedy, there is something very touching about the way she is learning to know herself. Content note: Although Kesgrave seems determined to make it to the altar with virtue intact, things get somewhat amorous in a couple of scenes in the latter half of the book. It doesn't last too long, but it's a bit more than what is found in a typical Regency rom-com.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    *growls in frustration* Too much filler, not enough marrying.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    While Beatrice and Damien were as delightful as ever, this installment dragged just a bit in the middle. The appearance of Bea’s nemesis and her presentation of a mystery was great…the plot to ruin Bea was outrageous, but believable in the world Messina created. Once the action moved to the theater, the number of secondary characters tipped this into a somewhat traditional mystery sphere and I don’t expect a procedural from this series. Still, the banter and witticisms were delightful as ever.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Helen - Great Reads & Tea Leaves

    “He merely sighed resignedly and said, “Oh, hell, Bea, another dead body?” I have been a fan since I first read Lynn’s, ‘Prejudice and Pride’ some years ago. Following up with reads from some of her Regency series, have only confirmed that time and again she produces fun and entertaining escapism with a wicked mystery thrown in for good measure. She is without doubt a most witty and clever author of the Regency period. Here we have another great installment in the Beatrice-Hyde Clare mysteries, co “He merely sighed resignedly and said, “Oh, hell, Bea, another dead body?” I have been a fan since I first read Lynn’s, ‘Prejudice and Pride’ some years ago. Following up with reads from some of her Regency series, have only confirmed that time and again she produces fun and entertaining escapism with a wicked mystery thrown in for good measure. She is without doubt a most witty and clever author of the Regency period. Here we have another great installment in the Beatrice-Hyde Clare mysteries, continuing on with the charming yet quirky read. This is number five in the series. Once more you will find historic detail (this time immersion in a theatre company), a murder to be solved, romance and all tied together with humour. The two main leads of Beatrice and her now betrothed Kesgrave are one of my favourite couples - right up there with some of the classic couples from Deanna Raybourn - Lady Julia Grey or Veronica Speedwell - heroines and partners - it’s romping good Regency fun. Their interactions are the highlight of the books - wit and banter that cannot help but bring a smile to your face. To once again spend time with Bea and Kesgrave, for their relationship has advanced further, and the warmth and wit is in full throttle. What I appreciated most with this particular instalment were their interactions felt more in unison and made a great team. “I gave you the opportunity to shine. And you are very welcome. Now do stop angling for compliments and tell me what you think of our suspects.” The only thing to consider is that I feel this is not really a standalone. The first 20% picks up directly after the conclusion of the last book and will be somewhat confusing if the reader is unfamiliar with previous plots and characters. You may get away with reading it as a standalone, but why try when there are four earlier stories that await and are just as engaging and will bring a fuller appreciation of the lives of Bea and the Duke. I recommend that you read these books together as a series and in order. It's the best way to truly appreciate the wonder that is Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare. I am a fan of all Lynn’s Regency novels and for good reason. For there is nothing better than having light, entertaining escapism with a well thought out mystery and characters whose dialogue and thoughts are the eptimoy of humour that await you at the end of a long day. Having undertaken this journey with Bea from the beginning, it is wonderful to see how far she has come and grown into herself. Such depth cannot be overlooked it what is a most definite ‘cozy’ mystery. “... (I am) struck dumb by you - by your wit and your fearlessness and your intelligence and your sense of humor, so mischievous and sharp, and your beauty.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beachreader

    If this were the first Beatrice Hyde-Clare mystery I had read, I would have given up by page 100, but since I had read all the others and enjoyed them, I kept slogging away through this book. It, however, does not measure up to the first three books in the series which were highly amusing and entertaining with wonderful characters. The plots have never been a strength in this series, but this plot was the worst. Every aspect of it from setup to the resolution was simply ridiculous. The dialog bet If this were the first Beatrice Hyde-Clare mystery I had read, I would have given up by page 100, but since I had read all the others and enjoyed them, I kept slogging away through this book. It, however, does not measure up to the first three books in the series which were highly amusing and entertaining with wonderful characters. The plots have never been a strength in this series, but this plot was the worst. Every aspect of it from setup to the resolution was simply ridiculous. The dialog between Bea and Kesgrave, which is usually quite amusing, was pedantic and dull. Most of the narrative about the theater was horribly boring. In fact, the best single word to describe this book is boring. Bea has regressed over the past few books into an unsure person and in this book she really does not shine. I didn't even care what happened to her or the handsome duke with the blond curls (who was thus described so many times that I lost count!). This book was darker too which I did not like. I might be done with this series. It all depends on whether the author can return to the tone of the first two books. She also needs to bring back the interesting characters she introduced a few books ago: the dowager countess and Nuneton's sister.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed this clean romance that had cute bantering and a very likable hero. The mystery and drama were a little lackluster, the sleuthing and disguises too silly, and the heroine’s arch nemesis completely single-faceted, but this was overall a nice addition to the series. I liked the plot twist and the resolution to all the drama. The relationship dynamics between the MCs were very sweet, and I was very happy with how the author left their relationship at the end of this book. I do wish that t I enjoyed this clean romance that had cute bantering and a very likable hero. The mystery and drama were a little lackluster, the sleuthing and disguises too silly, and the heroine’s arch nemesis completely single-faceted, but this was overall a nice addition to the series. I liked the plot twist and the resolution to all the drama. The relationship dynamics between the MCs were very sweet, and I was very happy with how the author left their relationship at the end of this book. I do wish that the heroine’s aunt would just stop talking already as every other thing out of her mouth was a reminder of how little she valued her niece as a human being. However, seeing her have to pay for the heroine’s trousseau was almost enough to satisfy this reader who thirsted for a little comeuppance. I eagerly await the sixth book of the series, coming out in 2020.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I've enjoyed the series as a whole but struggled a little with this one. It was slow getting started with a rather long recap of previous books and the initial mystery setup was a little dubious. I'm afraid I gave up about quarter of the way through, though I did have a quick look at the end to see how things finished up. But I fear I may be being a bit harsh to the book and in a a different mood may have enjoyed it. I've enjoyed the series as a whole but struggled a little with this one. It was slow getting started with a rather long recap of previous books and the initial mystery setup was a little dubious. I'm afraid I gave up about quarter of the way through, though I did have a quick look at the end to see how things finished up. But I fear I may be being a bit harsh to the book and in a a different mood may have enjoyed it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This was the weakest of the series. Writing and all was great as previous, the story just felt completely unnecessary. I admit to vastly skimming due to the aforementioned unnecessary. The next one should move forward and I’ll pretend this one didn’t exist.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Louise

    Fun entry into the series Many years ago in her first disastrous season, Beatrice Hyde-Clare was called drab and uninspiring by another of the debutantes. The sentiment stuck and followed Beatrice all the way up until the present, or at least until she stumbled upon a dead man in a library a few months ago. There, thinking she was about to die, she found her stride, her calling, And also her now fiancé, the Duke of Kesgrave. Who she’d like to marry right now, thank you very much. But when her for Fun entry into the series Many years ago in her first disastrous season, Beatrice Hyde-Clare was called drab and uninspiring by another of the debutantes. The sentiment stuck and followed Beatrice all the way up until the present, or at least until she stumbled upon a dead man in a library a few months ago. There, thinking she was about to die, she found her stride, her calling, And also her now fiancé, the Duke of Kesgrave. Who she’d like to marry right now, thank you very much. But when her former nemesis from the past appears on her doorstep with a mystery, Beatrice decides to let bygones be bygones and help the woman. The case leads her and Kesgrave on a merry chase… And of course leads to murder… And as is so often the case in high Society, not all is what it seems. — I really love the interactions between Beatrice and Kesgrave. They are what really make this series. The two are a wonderful pair and it hasn’t gotten any less wonderful for their haven’t gotten together. Moonlighting this is not. Some trigger warnings are really needed for this book though. Particularly related to the bullying and lots and lots and lots of bullying. There’s some classism and colonialism as well… period appropriate but there. I don’t want to give away one of the major plot points but I will say it was telegraphed quite nicely. And the murder mystery is fun as always with several twists and turns before coming to a very satisfactory conclusion. In all this was a fun entry into the series and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. Five Stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Yet another excellent book in this fun and romantic mystery series. A good case deftly investigated by both Bea and Kesgrave. They make such a great pair.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kitcatscratch

    All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoy this series and you can see the author grow as a writer. Early on, she had a tendency to repeat (A LOT) in each book what happened in the previous books. Around book 4 she starts to curb this tendency. The only gripe, if it actually is one, is that while you adore the h it was shocking in book 4 , A Nefarious Engagement, to realize that her character is unable to carry a story alone. Without the H, the Duke of Kesgrave, the story seemed to get bogged down All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoy this series and you can see the author grow as a writer. Early on, she had a tendency to repeat (A LOT) in each book what happened in the previous books. Around book 4 she starts to curb this tendency. The only gripe, if it actually is one, is that while you adore the h it was shocking in book 4 , A Nefarious Engagement, to realize that her character is unable to carry a story alone. Without the H, the Duke of Kesgrave, the story seemed to get bogged down. Alas, in 5 we get a lot of Bea and Kesgrave. What I also found interesting is that I think in Book 3, An Infamous Betrayal, you see their relationship grow tremendously and yet another character, a potential rival for Kesgrave, is brought in without clarity as to their relationship. In fact, one person comments to Bea that while Kesgrave is giving Bea a lot of "encouragement" in thinking his attentions are becoming serious, he continues to further this other relationship. The comment is then dropped and not really brought up again. It's a great little bread crumb that leaves the readers wondering why as well. Well wonder no more as it is explained in this book. What I also love is that Kesgrave's deceased father is mentioned in passing in this book which makes me wonder "is this another bread crumb?" If so, I can't wait to read about it because Kesgrave is really an admirable character and the hint about his father being a harsh man makes it very interesting as to how Kesgrave came out so decent. And more of Lord Nuneaton please! I adore his interactions with Bea.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Giese Witherspoon

    Every book in this series makes me so ridiculously happy! This novel features the affianced Bea and Damien as true partners in (the detection of) crime as they solve a cleverly staged mystery. Their witty banter, hilarious hijinks, mutual adoration, and can-we-just-get-married-already moments are a complete delight to read. I'm hoping to hear some wedding bells in the next book! Every book in this series makes me so ridiculously happy! This novel features the affianced Bea and Damien as true partners in (the detection of) crime as they solve a cleverly staged mystery. Their witty banter, hilarious hijinks, mutual adoration, and can-we-just-get-married-already moments are a complete delight to read. I'm hoping to hear some wedding bells in the next book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Merry Jewelhound

    I have read all books in the series. I was bored by the plot that was unbelievable and changed into a long boring Q&A at a theater. Bea went from a wonderful character who has discovered she is an intelligent problem solver back to an insecure girl. If this had not been a fun and funny series I would understand the angst.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ananya Bose

    I am absolutely addicted to this series and to Bea and Kesgrave. These two together will be the death of me. Reading other books in the same genre makes me appreciate this series even more. The dynamic between the two MCs is healthier, they have fantastic banter which doesn't change even after they are together and the mysteries are top notch I am absolutely addicted to this series and to Bea and Kesgrave. These two together will be the death of me. Reading other books in the same genre makes me appreciate this series even more. The dynamic between the two MCs is healthier, they have fantastic banter which doesn't change even after they are together and the mysteries are top notch

  21. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A very enjoyable continuation of the series. I highly recommend reading the series in order since there are plenty of spoilers in each subsequent book and the character development should not be missed out on.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Literati Literature Lovers

    Best of the Series This novel is the best of the series, as it contains a lot of Bea and Kesgrave on page sleuthing in London’s theater district. The book is at times gut wrenching in how the ton see the almost Duchess of Kesgrave. The love story is so good, that Kesgrave is now at the top of my list of best romantic leading men. Bea as always is a delight, she might not always catch the villain on the first try, but she never gives up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lori D

    Brilliant! Such wit and dry humor makes this series amazing!! Lynn is truly a master and Jill relays her words to perfection! I have to say though I am so tired of people disparaging Bea’s looks I want to strangle every one of them! But the Duke makes the heart patter with his love for her! Fun mystery and again I never know until the end the true culprit Brilliant and Bravo!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kam

    Didn’t enjoy this one as much as the others in the series. Too much long winded ramblings in Bea’s mind broke the flow of the story for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I loved this five-book series! I wish there were five more to read. Bea (Beatrice Hyde-Clare) was raised by an aunt and uncle who really did not want her but didn't know what else to do as her Aunt Vera most certainly did not want to raise eyebrows or give the impression of shirking her duty. Bea was the plain Jane of her family and frequent remarks are made in the books about her wan complexion. Bea has tamped down all her instincts in order to be a subservient and grateful niece. Although only I loved this five-book series! I wish there were five more to read. Bea (Beatrice Hyde-Clare) was raised by an aunt and uncle who really did not want her but didn't know what else to do as her Aunt Vera most certainly did not want to raise eyebrows or give the impression of shirking her duty. Bea was the plain Jane of her family and frequent remarks are made in the books about her wan complexion. Bea has tamped down all her instincts in order to be a subservient and grateful niece. Although only in her 20's, it is clear Bea will be a spinster. After all, "There is simply no reason any man would marry you," as her aunt often tells her. Despite this sad state of affairs, the books made me laugh out loud. I was struck by how rude many of the people were because they would say something negative about someone to their face, as if it must be clear to everyone else, including the person. Great series!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pam Linville

    This book will keep you in suspense. From the moment Miss Brougham enters the picture Bea’s world is turned upside down & her quick instincts in solving mysteries kicks in. It’s great to see her and Damien work together from the beginning of the mystery all the way through. There are several parts that you will find yourself cheering for Damien as he stands up for Bea in his brutish manner. I couldn’t put it down. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a rev This book will keep you in suspense. From the moment Miss Brougham enters the picture Bea’s world is turned upside down & her quick instincts in solving mysteries kicks in. It’s great to see her and Damien work together from the beginning of the mystery all the way through. There are several parts that you will find yourself cheering for Damien as he stands up for Bea in his brutish manner. I couldn’t put it down. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heatherinblack

    didn’t get the reference sleigh bells? mystery was sort of lost on me. i should go back to the first murder scene. adding of family to the solution is quite entertaining. bea leads family astray. looking forward to who gets into trouble in the next book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    2.5 STARS I have enjoyed the series, but this installment was a struggle.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    🎧 AUDIOBOOK REVIEW 🎧 Having enjoyed all the previous audiobooks in this series, I was excited to receive a free copy from this author. This review is freely written and contains only my own opinions. As expected, this audiobook was full of the usual hilarious moments, and had a fun mystery to solve. There was a small section I didn’t enjoy as much as usual - there were too many manipulative and malicious characters conniving and scheming for my taste. And then when Bea is interrogating two characte 🎧 AUDIOBOOK REVIEW 🎧 Having enjoyed all the previous audiobooks in this series, I was excited to receive a free copy from this author. This review is freely written and contains only my own opinions. As expected, this audiobook was full of the usual hilarious moments, and had a fun mystery to solve. There was a small section I didn’t enjoy as much as usual - there were too many manipulative and malicious characters conniving and scheming for my taste. And then when Bea is interrogating two characters (not mentioning names to avoid spoilers), she thinks “the man/woman who arranged the ruination of an innocent woman” (or similar) far too many times in the space of one half hour. However, once I got past those parts, it returned to the fun crime solving romance I know and love, and I very much enjoyed Bea and Kesgrave teasing each other all the time, and the general silliness! The narration is pretty similar to the last two audiobooks. For the most part, the narrator does a great job of an upper class British voice of the Era (or how I imagine it would be, as I wasn’t actually alive then), but there are still a number of jarring words that don’t seem to fit. Many of them seem to be with the pronunciation of a sounds - for example, “worshipful tone” became “warshipful tone”, which did amuse me. However, all other aspects of the narration are, as always, spot on. The expression in the various voices is great, and really conveys how the characters are feeling. The narrator has a good speed, and keeps the plot moving along nicely. It is easy to feel involved with the characters. I really enjoyed the progression in Bea and Kesgrave’s romance over the course of the story. They continue to move closer together, and I think that Bea is finally beginning to really believe that he loves her. I also loved the development in Flora’s character, and how she is starting to involve herself in Bea’s scandalous activities. If you’re looking for an audiobook that combines cozy crime with regency romance, hilarious scenes, and general frivolity, then look no further. I was given a free copy of this audiobook, my opinions are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miriamgreen

    Lynn Messina is endlessly inventive, endless imaginative, her prose flows. observations of the strict hierarchy of english nobility and class are handled sometimes in a surreal dialogue when dealing with societal rules. Imagine her aunt standing against the wall to cover a grease stain. It is in this book that Kesgrave and Bea have their love story, leading to wonderful dialogue and a great deal of sensual adventures. Kesgrave's restraint tells its own story about his increasing desire for Beatr Lynn Messina is endlessly inventive, endless imaginative, her prose flows. observations of the strict hierarchy of english nobility and class are handled sometimes in a surreal dialogue when dealing with societal rules. Imagine her aunt standing against the wall to cover a grease stain. It is in this book that Kesgrave and Bea have their love story, leading to wonderful dialogue and a great deal of sensual adventures. Kesgrave's restraint tells its own story about his increasing desire for Beatrice. The plot was a little thin but placed Bea's insecurities in floodlights, something she was forced to deal with. She was no shrinking violet to Kesgrave's lovemaking, and in the fullness of his protection made great strides to break out of her personal inadequacies. Portraits of the actors and the running of the theater were very informative and entertaining. The surprise of Flora's delayed rescue was somewhat jarring but set up for her entrance on the stage for her own stories which will come after this series. The possibility that Kesgrave and Bea would not have their shared lives as they were locked in the cellar of the theater to die was the impetus to override any objections to their marriage, which was performed immediately that afternoon. And then the bridal night and morning left us with images of deep devotion that were handled with grace and dignity, but never disguised the obvious pleasuring. So this book sets up the last of the series. As Lynn has graciously sent me this series, both books came at once and immediately plunged into the last novel.

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