A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
By Manda Collins
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Series or Standalone: A Lady’s Guide #1
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
I wanted to like this book, I really did. The premise sounded right up my alley as a book as it falls into my favorite genre of “lady detective fiction. We’ve got Lady Katherine Bascomb, an intrepid reporter, who helps discover a break in a major serial killer crime investigation, leading her to butt heads with Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham. Lady Katherine gets wrapped up in a new murder mystery at during a party at a country estate where who other than Detective Inspector Eversham is called into investigate and shenanigans ensue.
Unfortunately, the premise is all that I really enjoyed about this book. The characters felt incredibly flat to me and undefined. It almost felt like we were thrown into a book mid-series as the book had little character development at the upfront making it hard for me to connect with them and understand their motivation. I’m honestly still not really sure why Lady Katherine and her friend Caro Hardcastle wanted to establish their column “A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem” and if they even achieved their goal.
Because of the lack of character development, the romance also fell completely flat for me. There was no chemistry between Lady Katherine and Inspector Andrew – even the fact that he was supposed to be annoyed at her for her meddling didn’t come through. I found myself sighing and eye rolling at certain points of the book as the romance unfolded, which is never a good sign to me. The romance also progressed way too quickly for my taste.
The mystery driving the plot was fine – nothing super complex or original and I figured out who dunnit it pretty early on. There was a lot of potential with the Ten Commandments killer, but I felt the reveal was a bit of a let down. The writing was a bit clunky in many places as well which also didn’t allow me to immerse myself into the story.
While this book on paper seemed like it would be for me, the story just didn’t do it. I almost wish this book was longer to give the author more room to introduce these characters and allow them to develop so we could form a connection to them and understand their motivation. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be checking out book two in this series, even though we had met the characters that one will center on.