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Book Review: A Most Agreeable Murder

A Most Agreeable MurderA Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wickedly witty sendup of Regency and Victorian era novels, with a splash of Clue (the movie) thrown in for good measure. The characters are talkative, animated, and full of surprises.

Beatrice Steele, our protagonist, is a true crime fangirl who devours every newspaper article she can get her hands on regarding murder. But, as a resident of Swampshire, a town with horrid weather and stiflingly strict social rules, she’s held to very proper standards, and unfortunately, sleuthing isn’t on the approved activities list. Not that this stops her, but it does drive her to enjoy her obsession in hiding.

That is, until murder strikes one of the guests at the Autumnal Ball. To make matters worse, a dashing detective is also in attendance, and the poor man soon finds himself with a surprise sidekick as Beatrice eagerly chases after clues.

If you think the author neglected to include the traditional dark and stormy night, you’d be wrong. In fact, everyone attending the ball soon finds themselves stuck inside the rambling, falling-apart mansion at Stabmort Park. Unable to get away from each other, with a storm raging outside every window, the ball descends into a flurry of murderous intent, romantic trysts, hidden agendas, red herring chases, and witty repartee.

The dialogue is cheeky, clever and often sarcastic, but the wit is well-placed and hits the mark every time. It’s clear the author is a fan the genre and is having fun playing with it. I had just as much fun reading A Most Agreeable Murder.

My thanks to author Julia Seales, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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