A Lady and Lady's Maid Mysteries
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Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audio
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Murder Most Malicious
In post–World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, step outside of their social roles and put their lives at risk to apprehend a vicious killer…
December 1918: As a difficult year draws to a close, there is much to celebrate for nineteen-year-old Phoebe Renshaw and her three siblings at their beloved family estate of Foxwood Hall. The dreadful war is finally over; eldest daughter Julia’s engagement to their houseguest, the Marquis of Allerton, appears imminent; and all have gathered to enjoy peace on earth, good will toward men.
But the peace of Foxwood Hall is shattered on the morning of Boxing Day, when the Marquis goes missing. Not entirely missing, however, as macabre evidence of foul play turns up in gift boxes given to lady’s maid Eva Huntford and a handful of others. Having overheard her sister and the Marquis in a heated exchange the night before, Lady Phoebe takes a personal interest in solving the mystery.
As the local constable suspects a footman at Foxwood Hall, Phoebe and Eva follow the clues to a different conclusion. But both young women will need to think outside the box to wrap up this case—before a cornered killer lashes out with ill will toward them…
"Downton Abbey fans will enjoy Maxwell’s evocative descriptions of a particular society as it transitions from the Edwardian Age to modern times. Lady Phoebe is torn between her life before the war and her desire to become a modern woman." Library Journal
"Maxwell provides a neat little mystery and a heavily atmospheric look at life in a great house after the trials of the war." Kirkus Reviews
"The story is so good, you don’t want it to end." Suspense Magazine
"...Reminiscent of TV’s Downton Abbey, but Maxwell makes Phoebe and Eva distinctive personalities in their own right." Publishers Weekly
"...Forward-thinking Phoebe is a charming main character." Booklist
"Vicariously living in this world is an experience that rivals and complements the suspense of the suspected murder plot and the dangers that threaten Phoebe and Eva. All in all, it makes for a delightfully engaging package." Phil Jason, Florida Weekly
Available now in hardcover and ebook.
Trade paperback available December 28th!
Available hardcover and ebook. Audio release TBA!
A Pinch of Poison
In post–World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, encounter an uncharitable killer at a charity luncheon sponsored by a posh school for girls . . .
Good deeds build good character, and good character is what the Haverleigh School for Young Ladies is all about. Lady Phoebe—with the tireless assistance of Eva—has organized a luncheon at the school to benefit wounded veterans of the Great War, encouraging the students to participate in the cooking and the baking. But too many cooks do more than spoil the broth—they add up to a recipe for disaster when the school’s headmistress, Miss Finch, is poisoned.
The girls at Haverleigh all come from highly respected families, none of whom will countenance their darling daughters being harassed like common criminals by the local police. So Lady Phoebe steps in to handle the wealthy young debutantes with tact and discretion, while Eva cozies up to the staff. Did one of the girls resent the headmistress enough to do her in? Did a teacher bear a grudge? What about the school nurse, clearly shell shocked from her service in the war? No one is above suspicion, not even members of the school’s governing body, some of whom objected to Miss Finch’s “modern” methods.
But Lady Phoebe and Eva will have to sleuth with great stealth—or the cornered killer may try to teach someone else a lethal lesson.
“With its upstairs/downstairs sleuths and an expertly etched post-World War I setting, A Pinch of Poison, the second in Maxwell’s A Lady and Lady’s Maid series, is tailor-made for fans of Phryne Fisher mysteries or anyone who misses Downton Abbey.” VOYA Magazine
"Colorful information on the postwar period is combined with plenty of suspects, all neatly wrapped up in the style of a classic mystery." Kirkus Reviews
"Along with a bracing mystery, Maxwell explores compelling themes concerning the effects of war... A good match with Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series." Booklist
"A Pinch of Poison, hits all the right notes ... sweet, delightful ... sure to appeal to historical-fiction and mystery readers alike." Foreward Reviews
"...Delightful early 20th-century romp." Mystery Scene Magazine
“...A well-crafted historical mystery which continues the tradition so ably pioneered by “Upstairs, Downstairs” and, later, “Downton Abbey,” with just the right amount of romance added to create a delightful story." Suspense Magazine
"The settings, era, and characters are beautifully developed." Christian Writers
"...So easy to get lost in!" Cozy Mystery Reviews
"...Makes you feel immersed in the time period and feel like catching up with family friends. 5 of 5 stars." NikBookLovers Blog
"...A great read for those still searching for their British fix, or searching for a wonderfully written historical mystery." Bibliophile Reviews
A Devious Death
In the sobering yet hopeful years following the First World War, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, find their summer plans marred by an instance of murder . . .
Phoebe and her sister Julia are eager for a summer getaway at High Head Lodge, the newly purchased estate of their cousin Regina. But they are not the only houseguests. Regina's odd friend, Olive, is far from friendly, and Regina's mother and brother—bitter over the unequal distribution of her father's inheritance—have descended on the house to confront Regina.
In addition to the family tension, Eva is increasingly suspicious of Lady Julia's new maid. She questions Miss Stanley's loyalty and integrity, wondering why she left her former employer so suddenly. And why does Regina seem ill at ease around the maid, as if they were previously acquainted? Everyone, it appears, is on edge.
But things go from tense to tragic when their hostess meets an untimely end—mysteriously murdered in her bed with no signs of struggle. Now, with suspects in every room, Lady Phoebe and Eva must uncover secrets hidden behind closed doors—before a killer ensures they never leave High Head Lodge . . . alive.
"An unusual twist rooted in the recent horrors of World War I adds interest to a typical country-house mystery." Kirkus
Maxwell artfully portrays the personal dynamics of English society at the time, and readers will hope to see more of the endearing Phoebe and Eva.
"A well laid out mystery." New York Journal of Books
"A delightful read. Maxwell deftly balances all the subtleties of setting, character, and theme to offer her readers a view of a society in transition." Stephanie Saxon Levine, editor, Murder on the Beach Newsletter
"With each book, I grow to love Lady Phoebe and her Lady's Maid Eva more and more!!" Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
"This mystery will blind side, shock, and keep you reading til all hours. Can’t wait to read the next one." NikBookLover's Blog
Hardcover, Ebook, and Audible, and Audio CD!
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"I adored A Murderous Marriage and cannot wait for the next book in the series to be released. Highly recommended to any historical, cozy, or traditional mystery reader."
“Fans of Maxwell will enjoy this fourth in the series and will look for the next one.” – Historical Novel Society
"A well written mystery, with both an interesting plot and detailed characterization." --Mystery Playground
A MURDEROUS MARRIAGE
A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery book 4
Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, are preparing for a wedding, but it may not be the happy occasion everyone hopes for . . .
Since the Great War, some family fortunes have suffered, including those of the Renshaws. Despite being the granddaughter of an earl, Julia Renshaw is under pressure to marry for money—and has settled for Gilbert Townsend, a viscount and a wealthy industrialist. He is decades older than Julia, and it’s clear to her sister Phoebe—and to Eva, who has been like a surrogate mother to the girls—that this is not a love match. Nevertheless, the wedding takes place—and in a hurry.
At the reception aboard the groom’s yacht, there appears to be tension between Gil and several guests: his best man, a fellow veteran of the Boer War; his grouchy spinster sister; and his current heir, a nervous young cousin named Ernest. The bride is also less than pleased when she discovers that her honeymoon will be more crowded than expected—with Gil’s pretty secretary, among others, coming along.
That very night, Julia pounds on her sister’s door, brandishing a bandaged hand and reporting a hot-tempered outburst on her new husband’s part. Julia is feeling doubt and regret about her hasty decision, but returns to the boat. Then the next morning, before the yacht can depart the harbor, Gil’s body is found in the water below—and Phoebe and Eva must discover who pushed him over . . . before the Renshaws’ social standing is irreparably stained by Julia’s arrest for his murder. . .
"The action unfolds smoothly until well-disguised clues lead to a clever and satisfying denouement. Downton Abbey fans will have fun." Publishers Weekly
"Maxwell, who always puts an interesting spin on her country-house mysteries set between the great wars, delivers once again in this tale of love, hate, revenge, and country houses in peril." Kirkus Reviews
“‘A Murderous Marriage’ is a well-crafted historical mystery which will delight devotees of television shows such as Downton Abbey. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Lady Phoebe and Eva, as they work together to solve the mystery of Gilbert’s death and clear Julia’s name.” – Suspense Magazine
"The atmospheric Isle of Wright setting, lords and ladies galore, impoverished estates, arranged marriages … these elements and more combine in a murder mystery by Alyssa Maxwell that I thoroughly enjoyed." The Power of Words
"A MURDEROUS MARRIAGE is an engaging historical mystery that illustrates the importance of family and duty by both the upper and working classes in 1920 England." Cozy Up With Kathy
"I am always inspired to read more historical mysteries after reading a Maxwell mystery. She has the talent to create lively characters, charming settings, and the mystery that takes the wedding cake." Bibliophile Reviews
"I was pleasantly surprised to be immersed in the post World War I era. From the customs and clothing to the attitudes and actions, the story felt authentic and true." Mysteries With Character
"Maxwell will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what trouble the ladies are going to get in to and what secrets they will uncover, and as you get closer to the end of the story, your heart will be racing as you turn the pages..." Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
“The real murderer doesn’t stand a chance in face of this indomitable, experienced pair of detectives. ‘Circumstances call for logic and cool heads,’ and that’s exactly what they bring.” Criminal Element
“Deftly scripted with a wealth of twists, turns and surprises, "A Murderous Marriage" by Alyssa Maxwell showcases a flair for originality and a master of the genre. A page turning pleasure of a read from first page to last.” Midwest Book Review