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July 2, 2023

A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Beatrice lives in a very constrained society. The founder of her town created an extensive list of etiquette that all women must follow. There's even a companion travel guide so that if a lady finds herself in a situation and she isn't sure how she is supposed to behave she can refer to the guide. The annual ball is approaching and more than ever she or her sister must secure an engagement. Beatrice however is more than happy to leave marriage to her more beautiful, more athletic, more perfect sister. However, if she must marry then she will do what she can to secure an engagement to her childhood friend Daniel and thus save her family from ruin. When the most eligible bachelor at the ball drops dead, everyone is a suspect and the many secrets the stifling society has hidden will come out. 

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

book cover of amateur sleuth mystery novel A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales
June 2023; Random House; 978-0593449981
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); mystery

I wasn't sure where this novel was going when I started it. Beatrice has developed a passion for crime fighting by reading an inspector's column in the newspaper - a most unladylike pursuit. Was she going to go to London to only find out the detective isn't real? Thankfully that wasn't the direction the plot took which I'm glad as it would have been too predictable.

Then there are all the etiquette and decorum rules. It felt a bit like the setting of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. But about ten times worse for Seales characters than Elizabeth Bennet. At this point, I wondered if this was a spoof-type novel. But I soon came to the conclusion that this was more of a farce.

The characters, though sometimes caricatures, were interesting and I really enjoyed the dynamic between Detective Drake and Beatrice.

The mystery was good and had plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing as Beatrice and Drake attempt to discover the murderer.  

If you are looking for an entertaining read, then you really should pick up this book. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series - this may be optimistic thinking on my part as there is no indication that this is the first book in a series. What I do know is that this is an excellent debut novel.

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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