A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins is a five star read for me. I was beyond excited when I first learned that Manda Collins had written a mystery romance. I was happy to discover it was much more than simply that. Elements of both a mystery and a romance are masterfully interwoven throughout the book making it a winner for readers of both genres.
Lady Katherine Bascomb is a widow whose unhappy marriage gave her ownership of her husband’s newspaper, The Gazette. Some of the men of her circle see women as too delicate for such an enterprise. To their minds young ladies and women should be shielded from life’s more demanding and, at times, uglier side. To encourage women to be strong and able to take care of themselves would only lead to mischief and mayhem.
Lady Katherine could not agree less and she finds a like-minded woman in Miss Caroline Hardcastle. Together they create a new column for the paper that will instruct women on how to better look out for themselves. They name it A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem. Their first column is a massive hit. It provides a description of, what some believe to be, the Commandment Killer.
This revelation has a ripple effect which throws Lady Katherine into the direct path of Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham who - thanks to the article - was removed as chief inspector on the case. A man is arrested which Andrew thinks is a mistake. Lady Katherine and Andrew clash but soon realize two keen minds are better than one as they together pursue clues which bring them closer to danger and a killer.
Manda Collins’ writing will keep you on the edge of your seat. The dialog is witty and crisp. Inspector Eversham is both a sigh-worthy and a sharp-minded investigator. He is very different from Lady Katherine’s unlamented late husband. Their passionate exchanges spark an undeniable attraction between these two characters that will keep you turning the page for more.