Career diplomat Alec Halsey has been elevated to a marquessate he doesn’t want and Polite Society believes he doesn’t deserve; his lover has decided she won’t marry him after all and the suspicion he murdered his brother still lingers in London drawing rooms. So returning to London after seven months’ seclusion may have been a mistake. Alec’s foreboding deepens when a nobody vicar drops dead at a party-political dinner; he witnesses the very public humiliation of an up and coming portrait painter, and his rabble-rousing uncle Plantagenet is bashed and left for dead in a laneway. When the vicar’s true identity is revealed, Alec suspects the man was poisoned. But who would want a seemingly harmless man of God murdered, and why? Book 2 in the Alec Halsey Crimance series
Romantic Historical Mystery
Time Frame: Georgian England
Heat Level: 1
*TOP PICK * 5 stars
REVIEW BY CLEO:
Set in 1763, Deadly Affair is the second book in the Alec Halsey Mystery series.
Like a good historical murder mystery? This is the one. Lucinda Brant’s writing is joy to read. I haven’t read the first in the series, but this works well as a stand alone. I was able to follow the story and enjoyed her layered and complex characters. Brant’s grasp of the Georgian era and its social mores is impressive. A bit of a mystery himself, Alec Halsey is one of the best heroes I’ve read in a while. I grinned at our first view of him done cleverly through the conversation between two guests at the party-political dinner.
“He’s rather handsome in an angular sort of way. Big bony nose and large—” “What? No powder and a scrap of lace makes him handsome?” “—deep blue eyes,” Lady Cobham finished with a crooked smile, appraising Alec from well-muscled calf to coal black curls. “You’re blind! He could very well be mistaken for an American savage.” “Yes. That old rumor about—” “Rumor?” “—his real papa being a black lackey who took my lady Delvin’s fancy has stuck, hasn’t it?” “It’s stuck, Caro, because the swarthy devil’s a-a half-breed. One only has to look at him to see that!” The woman sighed deeply. “Yes, just look at him. Common report says he’s as virile as a savage…”
Halsey is in love with Selina Jamison-Lewis but now finds she won’t marry him. On the death of his brother, Alec Halsey has been elevated to Marquessate Halsey, and it doesn’t sit well with him, especially as there are rumours that he murdered his brother. He’s invited to the dinner where a clergyman, Blackwell is murdered. The intriguing story unfolds at a great pace, keeping me interested until the end. Brant’s secondary characters are well drawn, particularly Tam and Plantagenet who carry much of this story. It kept me engrossed until the end. I’m hooked! A worthy 5 stars.
Price: $4.99 Kindle edition
I live in a pretty historical country town in Australia with my husband, our cat and the demanding wildlife. Our children have left the nest and my free time is spent reading and writing historical romance and mystery novels, gardening and watching movies.