• A Bride's Guide to Marriage and Murder

  • Countess of Harleigh Mysteries, Book 5
  • By: Dianne Freeman
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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A Bride's Guide to Marriage and Murder

By: Dianne Freeman
Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
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Publisher's Summary

"Pure unadulterated fun" (Publishers Weekly) for fans of Ashley Weaver, Deanna Raybourn, and Tasha Alexander, the Agatha Award-winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries are a witty romp through the high society of Victorian England with a touch of romance, an appealing and independent female lead, and rich historical detail. In this charming fifth installment, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her wedding day overshadowed by murder...

On the eve of her marriage to George Hazelton, Frances has a great deal more on her mind than flowers and seating arrangements. The Connors and the Bainbridges, two families of American robber barons, have taken up residence in London, and their bitter rivalry is spilling over into the highest social circles. At the request of her brother, Alonzo, who is quite taken with Miss Madeline Connor, Frances has invited the Connor family to her wedding. Meanwhile, Frances's mother has invited Mr. Bainbridge, and Frances fears the wedding may end up being newspaper-worthy for all the wrong reasons.

On the day itself, Frances is relieved to note that Madeline's father is not among the guests assembled at the church. The reason for his absence, however, turns out to be most unfortunate: Mr. Connor is found murdered in his home. More shocking still, Alonzo is caught at the scene, holding the murder weapon.

Powerful and ruthless, Connor appears to have amassed a wealth of enemies alongside his fortune. Frances and George agree to put their wedding trip on hold to try and clear Alonzo's name. But there are secrets to sift through, not just in the Bainbridge and Connor families, but also in their own. And with a killer determined to evade discovery at any cost—even if it means taking another life—Frances's first days as a newlywed will be perilous indeed...

©2022 Dianne Freeman (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Bride's Guide to Marriage and Murder

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Oh, Sarah, you have nailed it once more!

I was thrilled to continue the journey with these characters. Freeman paints a vivid and enthusiastic picture through her clever choice of words. These light-hearted mysteries are my favorite. I cannot imagine anyone other than Sarah Zimmerman reading them.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun enough

Entertaining as always but a a bit more predictable than previous books in the series

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Bit of a letdown

The mystery was disappointing. I figured out the culprit and the motive pretty quickly; the previous mysteries were more engaging and much less transparent. I was also disappointed with Frances & George. They got married and nothing really changed except that she moved next door. I think being trapped by the circumstances made the whole book feel like it wasn’t going anywhere

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enjoyable installment

This was not so much a good mystery as a pleasant read, which is an impressive feat.

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Delightful!

I was excited to see this new audible in one of my favorite series!

My only complaint is to please write faster! I cannot wait to see what they are up to next!!

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Fun, clever and light historical mystery

Countess of Harleigh, Frances Wynn is due to marry George Hazelton and wedding plans are well underway. Frances’s father and brother Alonzo have arrived in the February, 1900 snow in London. Alonzo asks Frances to invite the Connors since he has his eye on their daughter Madeline. In the meantime, Frances’s mother, who has been living with her for months (!) has invited the Bainbridge family. Unfortunately these two families have been feuding for years, and Frances fears a spillover into her wedding celebration.

While the wedding went well, minus Mr. Connor attending in favor of some business, the reception was held at the Earl of Harleigh’s residence, where Frances once resided, which was next door to the Connor residence. What Frances should have feared was her brother Alonzo arguing with Viscount Daniel Fitzwalter, the heir to the Marquis of Sudley, a powerful and influential member of the House of Lords. Fitzwalter swore he had a marriage contract for Madeline Connor yet Alonzo wanted the opportunity to court her. Rumor had it that Fitzwalter had rung up a large amount of gambling debts that Connor would pay off with the marriage. Through the course of the luncheon and afternoon, several wedding guests went next door to the Connor household. When Fitzwalter swore he already had a contract, Alonzo and Madeline rushed next door to talk to her father. The butler walked in just as Alonzo had his hand on the knife in Connor’s body!

Promptly arrested and taken to jail, it was clear that George Hazelton would be Alonzo’s counsel and that George and Frances had a new case to investigate. Their wedding trip to Cannes would have to wait. Wedding guests were detained and statements taken. George and Frances had had their photos taken in the study where they had full view of the comings and goings at the Connor’s home, of which there were many. Now they needed to uncover more secrets than just murder but that of illicit affairs and friendships. And they needed to learn more about the lucrative business dealings of Mr. Connor, not always above board and often in direct conflict with Bainbridge.

It is always interesting to watch George and Frances investigate within the confines of Victorian English society. Large amounts of tea were consumed gathering clues and answers to the many riddles presented. The keen observations and sardonic wit of Dianne Freeman keep this historical mystery clever and light. I do hope the Hazeltons eventually get their wedding trip.