A murderous beginning!
With her father away in India, Lady Alkmene Callender finds being left to her own devices in London intolerably dull, until the glamorous Broadway star Evelyn Steinbeck arrives in town! Gossip abounds about the New York socialite, but when Ms Steinbeck’s wealthy uncle, Silas Norwhich, is found dead Lady Alkmene finds her interest is piqued
Because this death sounds a lot to her like murder…
Desperate to uncover the truth, Lady Alkmene begins to look into Ms Steinbeck’s past – only to be hampered by the arrival of journalist Jake Dubois – who believes she is merely an amateur lady-detective meddling in matters she knows nothing about! But Lady Alkmene refuses to be deterred from the case and together they dig deeper , only to discover that some secrets should never come to light…
The twenties have never been so dangerous…
This is book one in the Lady Alkmene Mysteries and the first time I have read Ms Conroy and I love it, her writing is fresh and entertaining, it’s like an episode of Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries sprinkled with what I can only describe as a good old-fashioned Miss Marple.
With her father, out of the country until at least Christmas, Lady Alkmene has the freedom to do as she pleases the only problem is she bored with the usual amusements. She goes to all the functions, parties and the theatre and yet it’s the same over and over again, she wants something else to occupy her days. The answer to her prayers comes when at a party she unintentionally over hears an intriguing conversation between the beautiful American Evelyn Steinbeck and a mysterious man. They are discussing being together and eloping but Ms Steinbeck is more worried about money and living the life that she has become accustomed to and she is also worried about what her wealthy uncle will think especially as she is his sole heir. Alkmene is intrigued especially as mere days after she had heard their conversation Mr Silas Norwhich, the uncle to Evenlyn Steinbeck, is found dead in his home.
Well, obviously Alkmene thinks that this is highly suspicious, her over active and intelligent mind starts turning as she is caught up in the moment and the thrill of the case. This is just thing that she needs, it’s too good to pass up so, she decides to do a bit of digging. She knows that there is something not quite right about all of this, it’s just too much of a coincidence and more than that she is feeling excited about something.
Unexpected death always had an unhealthy appeal to Alkmene, and she perused the few lines underneath with great interest…..
On the first day of her case she meets charismatic, handsome and often gruff journalist Jack Dubois – who like her sees something more to this man’s death – soon team up and start to investigate together, but not before a few mishaps and her irritating him so much he can’t refuse her.Things don’t go as smoothly as Alkmene had originally thought as she and Jack find themselves deep into something that proves to be very dangerous, and things get tangled and confused with blackmailers and stolen precious heirlooms and there is something very fishy about Evelyn and her strange visitor.
Could she be in on her uncle’s murder?
It’s slick our leads just ooze sophisticated glamour of the era, Jack and Alkmene despite their difference in stations they make a great team. Alkmene is your stereotypical aristocrat, she has lived her entire life in the glitz and glamour and she really has no idea of how life is beyond her front door. Like a lot of aristocratic ladies of the time, she is spoilt and naive and too wrapped in cotton wool to be able to do anything for themselves – it is highly amusing when she attempts to launder Jack’s handkerchief and she makes a right pigs ear of it. Whereas Jack Dubois is a man of the world who has many skeletons in his closet that he is determined to keep well hidden, Monsieur Dubois has a certain Gaelic charm mixed with his slightly rough around the edge aura and you have a highly attractive and intriguing man. Between them they can get any information they want, have access to any home or authority as they both have connections in very different places which only aids their case.
Now this man made it sound like a crime that she didn’t know how to get this handkerchief cleaned up herself. Probably a communist dead set against English aristocracy…..
What I really like about this though is the relationship between Jack and Alkmene, they are as different as you can get, her being a sophisticated aristocrat and him a rough ex-convict and yet they find a common interest and they do rub along rather well.
A Proposal to Die for is a none taxing and cosy “who dunnit” which is thrilling, witty and oozes old school glamour. It is one of those books that can be read by any one, not matter what genre you favour this is very good and I very much recommend it.
Warm and cosy!
This was a Complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
A Proposal to Die for can be purchased at Amazon.