My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Arlen has written another enjoyable novel featuring the detective work of Clementine Talbot, Countess of Montfort and her housekeeper, Mrs Edith Jackson.
The dinner in question is the occasion of Winston Churchill’s 39th birthday where some of England’s oldest families have been invited to celebrate. But after a glamorous dinner party Sir Reginald is found face down on the dinner table with a knife stuck in his ribs. With thirteen people at the dinner party, servants and the possibility of a stranger from outside breaking into the house, there are no end of possible murderers for Clementine and Mrs Jackson to check the alibis of and check off suspects one by one. This mystery has an unexpected twist in the tail which makes the reading all the more enjoyable. The Second book in the series, Clementine and Mrs Jackson are slowly becoming more fleshed out as characters who are learning to bridge the divide of up stairs and downstairs in Edwardian Britain. What I simply adore about this series of books is that Tessa Arlen takes the time to research real life characters from the period and put them into her stories.
Probably better suited to the occasional mystery reader rather than the avid armchair sleuth, these books are fast becoming a great series.