A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (Paperback)
"[Manda] Collins is a delight" (Elizabeth Hoyt) in this fun and flirty historical rom-com, where an intrepid female reporter matches wits with a serious, sexy detective -- perfect for fans of Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, and Netflix's Enola Holmes!
England, 1865: Newspaper columnist Lady Katherine Bascomb finds herself the subject of speculation when her latest article leads to an arrest in the murders plaguing London. The English believe women ought not to write about such vulgar things as crime, and a particularly attractive detective inspector is incensed that she's interfered with his investigation. To escape her sudden notoriety, Katherine heads to the country-only to witness a murder upon her arrival.
Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham is appalled when Lady Katherine entangles herself in one of his cases-again. Her sensationalist reporting already nearly got him kicked off the police force, and he'll be damned if he permits her to meddle a second time. Yet, her questions are awfully insightful, and he can't deny his attraction to both her beauty and brains. As the clues point to a dangerous criminal, the two soon realize their best option is working together. But with their focus on the killer lurking in the shadows, neither is prepared for the other risk the case poses-to their hearts.
About the Author
Manda Collins grew up on a combination of Nancy Drew books and Jane Austen novels, and her own brand of historical romantic suspense is the result. A former academic librarian, she holds master's degrees in English and Library & Information Studies. Her novel Duke with Benefits was named a Kirkus Best Romance of 2017. She lives on the Gulf Coast with two lazy cats, a very spoiled Shih Tzu, and more books than are strictly necessary.
"A delectable mystery that reads like Victorian Moonlighting (with a good heaping of Nancy Drew's gumption). Collins writes with a brisk whimsy, her diverting characters popping off the page . . . adroitly threading the needle of her darkly amusing sense of humor, genuine suspense, and a deep sense of connection. The novel truly sings, however, when it comes to its themes of violence against women . . . . The book bursts with pointed commentary on misogyny, particularly when directed at women's power and sexuality. But ultimately, it celebrates a cultural love affair with true crime as a way for women to exert some semblance of control over the chaotic (rarely random) violence that can dot our lives. . . . A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem is wickedly smart, so engrossing it'd be a crime not to read it immediately."—Entertainment Weekly
"Part Victorian romance and part cozy mystery . . . [an] utterly charming read."—Popsugar
"Smartly plotted, superbly executed, and splendidly witty."—Booklist
"A fun and flirty historical rom-com with a mystery afoot!"—SYFY WIRE
"Manda Collins smoothly blends romance and an English country-house whodunit . . . The twists and turns of the plot will keep readers guessing, but Kate's independent attitude and the interesting friends she gathers around her bring the story to vivid life."—Bookpage
"Collins blends historical romance and mystery with characters who embody a modern sensibility . . . the protagonists and setting of this first in a promising new series are thoroughly enjoyable."—Library Journal
"Both romance and mystery fans will find this a treat."—Publishers Weekly
"[Manda] Collins is a delight! I read A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem waaay past my bedtime, absorbed by its spot-on period detail, the well-crafted characters, and of course the intriguing mystery. Brava!"—Elizabeth Hoyt, New York Times bestselling author
"When I pick up a Manda Collins book, I know I'm in for a treat. With compelling characters and a rich Victorian setting, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem weaves mystery and romance into one enthralling tale."—Tessa Dare, New York Times bestselling author
"Mystery, romance and an indomitable heroine make for a brisk, compelling read."—Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author
"With wicked smart dialogue and incredibly strong characters, Manda Collins reminds me why I love historical romance so much. Witty, intelligent, and hard to put down, you'll love A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem."—Rachel Van Dyken, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A go-to for historical romance."—Heroes and Heartbreakers
"Manda Collins writes sexy and smart historical romance, with a big dash of fun."—Vanessa Kelly, USA Today bestselling author
"Sexy, thrilling, romantic . . . Manda Collins makes her Regency world a place any reader would want to dwell."—Kieran Kramer, USA Today bestselling author
I enjoyed the book although it's not one I would have selected on my own. Especially for a debut novel I thought it was well done and engaging. I can't attest to the historical accuracy of the book's premise (yes, I know it's historical fiction). Over-all I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, entertaining read for beachside (when beaches reopen) or for a weekend of relaxation even if it's in your own backyard. There were moments where I thought the perspectives of the protagonist - Anita (The Woman in Red) - stemmed from our 21st century experiences as opposed to how the setting might have been perceived in the time period of the book, but this wasn't so distracting that it ruined the novel. On an entirely positive note, I would say that one place where most novels fail for me is the ending - too many novels are either entirely predictable or feel rushed and hurried as if trying to tie up all the loose ends. I was not expecting the outcome at the end of The Woman in Red!
Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars . It was a respectable first novel from Diana Giovinazzo, with an engaging story line that was enjoyably uncomplicated yet intriguing, a likeable protagonist, and a surprise ending.
- reviewed by Diane, customer