Monday, January 01, 2018

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore. Kelly Jones. 2017. 304 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: We were at home when my father's solicitor arrived.

Premise/plot: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is a delightful historical mystery set in Regency England. The heroine, Annis Whitworth, is being raised by her aunt Cassia. Soon after the novel opens, the two learn that her father is dead; he's died leaving them destitute. But something about her father's death troubles Annis. She believes her father was a spy, and that her father was murdered because of what he knew. Ever-practical Cassia is doing damage-control, how can two women support themselves and avoid debtor's prison? Annis is more daring; her idea of damage-control is broader. How can I solve my father's murder and enter into my nation's service as a spy?

Annis' greatest asset may be her newly discovered magical talent. Using her newfound glamour, she opens a dress shop in a country village--all with the good help of a new Irish maid, Millie. But can her dressmaking alone save the two women?! How can she prove her worth to the war office?

My thoughts: I love historical fiction. I do. The setting of this one is one of my favorites. Reading this one made me want to reread some Georgette Heyer. I enjoyed the relationship between Annis and her maid, Millie. These are two feisty young women--brave, resilient, determined. These two lean on one another and are stronger for it. Cassia was more of a mystery to me. It was harder for me to connect with who she was and her character/personality. Yet there was a potential for greatness hidden there. The novel has whimsical, magical elements. But it is also packed with mystery, danger, and action. Overall, I thought the world-building was good. It's also a relevant read. A few of the characters in this one could join the #metoo movement.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Tamara Morning said...

I enjoyed this book as well, especially the dynamic between Annis and Millie.

Joy Weese Moll said...

This sounds fun!