• A Fiancée's Guide to First Wives and Murder

  • Countess of Harleigh Mysteries, Book 4
  • By: Dianne Freeman
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (290 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Dianne Freeman’s lighthearted mystery series set in Victorian England, the American-born Countess of Harleigh uncovers more deadly intrigue among the uppercrust....

For Frances Wynn, widow to the late Earl of Harleigh, life has a cosmopolitan flavor of late. No sooner has she sent her mother and daughter off on a shopping trip to Paris than she and her fiancé, George Hazelton, are socializing with visiting members of the Russian royal family. Yet amid this whirlwind, scandal also comes calling when Inspector Delaney turns up outside Frances’ house with a young French woman and a shocking claim: She is Mrs. George Hazelton.   

As the future Mrs. George Hazelton, Frances assumes the woman is either lying or demented. “Mrs. Hazelton", aka Irena, makes other outrageous statements. Among them, she insists that she is the illegitimate daughter of Russian royalty, that she has been abducted and held for ransom many times, and that someone is sending her threatening letters. When George arrives, he clarifies that he is certainly not married to Irena - though he can confirm her royal parentage. But even as he agrees to investigate whether Irena’s life is in danger, her claim proves tragically true. Irena is found strangled in Frances’ garden. To uncover a killer - and clear their own names - Frances and George must determine which of Irena’s outlandish stories were based in fact, and who stood to benefit from her death. And as the search reaches a shocking conclusion, they may find that villainy lurks all too close to home....

©2021 Dianne Freeman (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Fiancée's Guide to First Wives and Murder

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    4 out of 5 stars

Not the best of the series. start somewhere else

I usually love these books, but the background and new characters were just a bit "off." I know Irina was supposed to be annoying, but she was too much so. Hetty's beau seemed added just to transport them from one place to another.

Also, about halfway through I knew who the killer was and was annoyed that Frances and George seemed deliberately dense not even look in that direction. Then, when they did it was sort of just the mention of a possibility and back to "oh well, let's just beat this other dead horse," and not even ask the obvious questions.

Still, it's a fun listen and Sarah Zimmerman seems just the right reader for these books.

3 people found this helpful

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The humor comes through with this narrator

I truly enjoy this narrator better than the last book. This narrator was the same as for the first two books and I really enjoy the way her character vocals are believable and can be people I know. I hope future audio books of Frances and George stories will use this narrator. The story is great too!

2 people found this helpful

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Absolute love for the Countess of Harleigh series!

The fourth book did not disappoint. I don’t know if there will be a fifth book, but I will wait eagerly to ready if there is. In the meantime, I might just go back to book one and read the series again.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Another adventure with a mystery that was hard to decider. Who am I kidding? I had no clue!

Again. Frances and George are trying to move forward with their wedding but they keep getting interrupted!

I cannot wait for more in this series!!

1 person found this helpful

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always delightful

loved it. the storyline isn't predictable and fun to follow along. enjoyed it very much.

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Great Series!!

I love this series and narration! I took one star off for this performance because the word 'theater' has three syllables, not two. It really broke the flow of the narration for me because the word is said a lot in this book.

Nevertheless, I can't wait for the next in the series!

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a great cozy read.

the story is intriguing. lots of chuckles along the way. the narrator is excellent. I'm looking forward to the next book. they're not your typical whodunits but they sure are fun.

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A little too cartoonish and coincidental

Another zippy mystery, with a few caveats.

This particular installment crossed over the line from fun to silly, particularly with the delusional Irena. The way all the characters reacted to Irena’s delusions also didn’t ring true. Would high society really countenance an actress dubbing herself married just because she says so?

Several plots points were so coincidental that they stretched to unbelievable. For instance, one suspect flees London and miraculously ends up, in all places, in Paris where he happens to run into Frances’ mom, where she happens to be vacationing.

And it’s mildly annoying that Frances’ daughter has been shunted to the sidelines for several books. Why write her into book 1 with the fiction that Frances loves her daughter so much if the author can’t figure out a way to keep her in the picture?

But, on the whole, this was engaging and light-hearted. This installment really brings home that George and Frances are equals and that George intends to support Frances as an investigator.

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THE SHOW STOPPER

Thank Goodness for Audiobooks! The performances and especially for the Authors! What would we do without their imaginations, their stories, their images splashed up on the walls of our minds eyes?! I know for myself life would be as a painting bereft of color, washed out of each array of the Beauty of Truth & of Strength of Honesty, and us, the silent naked witnesses of the elite of life's most Nobilly, faithfully rendered, almost painfuly rendered & recorded for all to stop a while, to see - for if not, our Souls would whither, refuse to go on....unable to respond to the mightiest question of all which in the end we all answer

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A female historical detective! YESSS!

Loved the entire series hopefully there's one after this where she is getting married and another plot thickens. She and her husband George makes a great team!

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  • JALE
  • 08-01-21

terrible narration

Once again a jolly little story, but the narration was dreadful. Bring back Karen Cass.