Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, No 1
Signet / Penguin
April 5, 2011/ ISBN 0451233034
Historical mystery / Cozy / Regency-1813
by Brenda Weeaks
Lady Arianna Hadley is pretending to be a French Chef for Lady
Spencer – a male French Chef. Someone poisoned the Prince
and she is accused of tainting the dessert. The reason Arianna's
hiding behind padding and a mustache is revealed right away and
further glimpses into her past feeds the readers' curiosity and
adds interest to the mystery.
Lord Grentham, minister in the Whitehall War Office, brings in
Lord Saybrook, a former spy and current opium user, to investigate.
Saybrook spots Arianna behind the mustache; instead of arresting
her he takes her home. She becomes concerned for his health. He
is concerned with her safety. They both cook and love chocolate.
Arianna convinces him to let her help with the poisoning case. Saybrook
knows Arianna is hiding her past and does some investigating. Arianna
ends up back at Lady Spencer's with a new look as a wealthy widow;
her goal is an invite into a special group.
While working the case together these two spar regularly (maybe
too much); these scenes read more like a romance novel, but eventually
the mystery takes off and there's more than one thread to it. Readers
can expect a sound storyline with some interesting twists and turns.
The conclusion of the mystery is satisfactory. And the conclusion
of the characters is again a bit like a romance.
For a first in series the mystery is well done making it promising
series. If you like cozy mysteries, cooking, and chocolate, you'll
like Sweet Revenge.