The Tomb of the Honey Bee by L.B. Hathaway

honeybeeA feisty 1920s sleuth solving a crime through glamourous London, Sicily and Egypt.

Posie is a feisty private detective in 1920’s London. She plunges dangerously into situations without always thinking it through and they often go awry, but she makes it up in pluck.

In book #2, Posie is in the throws of heartache and finds herself helping a ravishing and broke peer, Violet, whose explorer brother has gone missing. And she’s being paid in extraordinarily expensive honey. Potential suspects include the other brother, a drinking wastrel of money, his wealthy and jealous wife, a highly suspicious valet and a unrequited-love-crazy mystery writer.

A great setup and the book’s highlight is Posie’s international jetsetting to interesting places. The killer here is a different kind of crazy ruthless and manages to do a fair amount of destruction for a comparative amateur.

An enjoyable series and I’m distinctly interested in the next books!

A Useful Woman by Darcie Wilde

darcie.jpgA compelling Regency heroine solves the murder of a young man.

This is a deeply immersive mystery set in Regency London. The intelligent heroine Rosalind is demure yet spirited, her life of privilege disrupted by her father’s financial crimes.

There’s a lot of mystery hinted at with her sister and father vanished, and her mother basically gone over the deep end. Her position is as a “useful” woman who understands and helps smooth over social functions with her knowledge of people and position, yet is too lowly to attend many functions.

The mystery plot is well done. Rosalind finds a man’s body in a privileged ballroom. She doesn’t start out as a sleuth, but when the man’s family asks for her help she ends up investigating. The characters are well-developed and Rosalind is torn by all sorts of loyalties and conflicts. She sometimes stumbles along the way, but always with increasing skill and urgency. The romantic angle is well-written but a little over the top at times.

An immersive book that fans of Jane Austen and cozy crime will appreciate!

30-day e-book loan courtesy of NetGalley.