If you are looking for a cozy mystery to fill your Downton Abbey void with, A Death By Any Other Name by Tessa Alren might be the title. Building on the success of her last two mysteries in the same series, Alren returns us to the same universe featuring Lady Montfort and her pragmatic housekeeper Mrs. Jackson and fill the readers with intrigue.
In A Death By Any Other Name, The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper Mrs. Jackson’s services are called upon after a cook is framed and dismissed for poisoning a guest of the Hyde Rose Society. Promising to help her regain her job and her dignity, the pair trek out to the countryside to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires. There, they are to discover a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders.
While they investigate, the rumor mill fills with talk about a conflict over in Prussia where someone quite important was shot. There is talk of war and they must race the clock to solve the mystery as the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of WWI.
Although the plot for this novel is somewhat predictable, it has almost all the elements of a great cozy mystery: A grand house full of interesting suspects, various interesting characters and delightful language. Although Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman (Lady Montfort #1) continues to remain our favorite, this is a very notable work of fiction.
As mentioned, this novel and other Arlen’s novels in the series will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, as they all feature vivid descriptions, close attention to the details and the intricacies of the time period, and strong character development.
Our Rating: 3.6