A Death By Any Other Name
Delighted to introduce: Volume 3 in the Lady Montfort mystery series from Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books
Available for preorder now for publication March 14, 2017
Building on the success of her last two mysteries in the same series, Tessa Arlen returns us to the same universe full of secrets, intrigue, and, this time, roses in A Death By Any Other Name. The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, investigate a murder among a group of amateur rose-breeders while the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of WW1.
When Mrs. Jackson receives a visit from a cook who believes she was an indirect witness to murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree Lady Montfort promises to do what she can to clear the cook’s name, and contrives an invitation to Hyde Castle, to the castle of a self-made millionaire, to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires. With the help of the invaluable Jackson, Lady Montfort sets about solving the puzzle surrounding the death of the society’s most popular member and discovers a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders.
While they investigate, the headlines bring news of the continuing conflict in Prussia following the assassination of the heir to the Austrian empire. As each day brings more threatening news and the very real fear that Britain will be drawn into war Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson must race the clock to solve the mystery before Britain declares on Germany.
Brimming with intrigue, Tessa Arlen’s latest does not disappoint.
Advance praise for A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME
“Poisoned kedgeree is an unlikely murder weapon — but not in “A Death by Any Other Name” the third in Bainbridge Islander Tessa Arlen’s engaging series about Lady Montfort and her down-to-earth housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson. In the days just before World War I, the pair wangles an invitation to a stately castle, hoping to vindicate a cook suspected in the death of an earlier guest there. Attention soon focuses on a group of amateur rose enthusiasts gathered at the castle. Bonus: a charming supporting performance by the famous real-life garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.” Adam Woog – Seattle Times
“Arlen recreates a richly detailed pre-WWI England, seamlessly weaving historical events and people into her well-written third Lady Montfort mystery (after 2016’s Death Sits Down to Dinner). Beryl Armitage, a cook who was dismissed for accidentally fatally poisoning one of her employer’s guests at Hyde Castle, begs Clementine Talbot, Countess of Montfort, to help clear her name. The countess and her redoubtable housekeeper, Edith Jackson, visit the scene of the crime, where they meet the members of the Hyde Rose Society, including Maud Haldane, the browbeaten wife of the master of Hyde Castle; the poisoning victim’s bereft widow; and a fussy Scotsman with a sixth sense. Mrs. Jackson, a talented but reluctant investigator, is uncomfortable crossing the strict class barriers of the day. But she’s fiercely loyal to Lady Montfort—and enjoys sleuthing more than she will admit. Lovers of traditional English country house mysteries will enjoy this story very much. ” – Publishers Weekly
“Arlen’s delightful mix of upstairs and downstairs conveys the complexities of a hidebound class system on the verge of change. The nouveau-riche is exemplified by the owner of Hyde Castle—Mr. Roger Haldane, manufacturer of Haldane’s Hearty Stew and his long-suffering wife, Maud, chairwoman of the Hyde Rose Society. The narrative is helped along by a slew of red herrings, a fast-moving plot, and fine descriptive passages.” – The Historical Novel Society
“This pitch perfect classic whodunit beautifully captures that brief moment when the world waited to hear whether war may be averted. Tessa Arlen’s observations of her characters and the intricacies of the English class system are conveyed with sparkling insight and wry humor. The sense of place and time is captured through precise telling details. This is a charming story with the bonus of exploring the British love of gardening as the storm among the Hyde rosarians is played out against historical events. It’s a delight to be in the company of two such captivating sleuths.” — Frances Brody, author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries
“Tessa Arlen returns with another intriguing mystery to be solved by the Countess of Montfort and her housekeeper Edith Jackson, a reluctant Watson to Lady Clementine’s enthusiastic Sherlock. Roses in the conservatory, crumpets in the drawing room, and news of an assassination in Sarajevo—Arlen skillfully captures the uneasy moods and mores of the time.” -Edgar, Agatha, Anthony & Macavity Award winning mystery novelist: Margaret Maron
Arlen (Death Sits down to Dinner, 2016, etc.) follows up on her two previous Downton Abbey–era tales with the requisite stately mansion and quirky dramatis personae. – Kirkus Reviews
Print and ebook copies of A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME are available for pre-order now from all independent book stores, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
How Edwardian Are You?
Ten questions to test your knowledge of the Edwardian era.
Blog Redoubtable Edwardians
Please visit my blog, Redoubtable Edwardians, which features articles about the colorful eccentrics who populated the era of my books. I hope you will find them as fascinating as I do!
I have taken the tremendous liberty in A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME, which releases on March 14, 2017, of including among my quirky characters the redoubtable garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Miss Jekyll designed some of the most beautiful gardens in England, Europe and America. She bred a number of herbaceous specimens that we grow… Read the full article >>
In 1901 when Clementine, Lady Montfort was a young mother with three young children in the nursery it snowed that Christmas Eve as the Talbot family and their servants walked down St. Bartholomew’s church in the village for the evening carol service. I remember from my own childhood that nothing captured the spirit of… Read the full article >>
I want to try to clarify some of the rules bout the ritual of tea time as it is probably one of the most misrepresented of British traditions. Whenever I need information on the strangely intricate and unbending conventions that surround the Edwardians and their eating habits I consult Mrs. Thwaite, the cook at Iyntwood,… Read the full article >>