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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

February 11, 2023

Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

It's 1885 London and half-sisters Violet and Sephora live with their Aunt Adelia. Unmarried, Adelia does not live a quiet life. Before sweeping off on a trip with her handsome beau, she confines in Violet (the more sensible one of the two sisters) that she is the famed Agony Aunt Miss Hermione. As she will not be able to answer letters while away, she must ask Violet to do so in her stead. She doesn't give Violet the opportunity to refuse. But did Adelia realize the danger that she was putting her charges in by having Violet give advice to the heartbroken, discouraged, and downtrodden that wrote each week?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of Victorian mystery Of Manner and Murder by Anastasia Hastings
February 2023; Minotaur Books; 978-1250848567
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); Victorian mystery

I don't usually read books set in the 1800s but I have read a couple of other books set during the period that I enjoyed (most notably Catherine Lloyd's Kurland St. Mary Mystery series) and decided to give Anastasia Hastings's new series a try. This is Hastings's debut novel but as she writes under several pennames, it is not the writer's first book.

I'm happy that I did pick up Of Manners and Murder as it is a delightful read and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

The characters are wonderful. 

Violet and Sephora are excellent character foils. Violet reminded me of Miss Scarlett (from the PBS television show Miss Scarlett and the Duke). They are set in the same time period too. If you are enjoying the television show then you must give this book a try.

We don't get to see a lot of Aunt Adelia and the housekeeper Bunty but they truly shine in their brief appearances on the page and I hope we get more of them as the series progresses.

For those who enjoy a little romance with their cozy mystery, then you won't be disappointed. The chemistry between the two characters was immediate. If you have read my reviews of Lloyd's series, then you know one of the things I loved about the series was the relationship between Lucy and Robert. It also reminded me of the relationship between the characters in Vivian Conroy's Merriweather and Royston Mystery series. I see the same potential of Violet and Eli becoming a favorite sleuthing couple of mine. 

The mystery was very good. Though I had figured it out by about the halfway point, it was still fun watching the characters figure it out. 

I have read many cozy mysteries already this year, and this one has been my favorite. The repetition that I complained about in some of the others was not present in this novel. The writing was so good. I was drawn in from almost the start (it might have taken me a chapter or two to really get into the story, but once I was I was totally hooked).

If you are looking for an entertaining story that will engage you from start to finish, then you must get this book.

Buy Of Manners and Murder at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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