A Useful Woman
By Darcie Wilde
Berkley Prime Crime, 2016, 357 pages, Mystery
The daughter of a baronet and a minor heiress, Rosalind Thorne was nearly ruined after her father abandoned the family. To survive in the only world she knew, she began to manage the affairs of some of London society's most influential women, who have come to rely on her wit and discretion. So when aristocratic wastrel Jasper Aimesworth is found dead in Almack's, London's most exclusive ballroom, Rosalind must use her skills and connections to uncover the killer from a list of suspects that includes Almack's powerful patronesses.
I love reading Jane Austen-type books, but it drives me nuts when the characters don’t act like they live in the Regency era. *snif* “Jane Austen would never!” Darcy Wilde does an excellent job of setting her story firmly in Regency England, while still managing to create a strong female character who also just happens to fall into a situation where she fights crime! Although they live in different eras, Rosalind Thorne reminded me a lot of Maisie Dobbs or Mrs. Marple, in all of the best ways. There is a slight hint at a possible love triangle brewing, but the shining star of this book is the mystery set at the heart of fashionable London. More great news is that book two in the series, A Purely Private Matter, was released earlier this year.