Monday, October 23, 2017

An Invitation to Murder

Being a matchmaker for a mild mannered, bug collecting young woman is not what Lady Katherine Irvine had in mind for herself. In Leighann Dobbs' An Invitation to Murder, Lady Katherine uses the matchmaking opportunity to investigate the murders of two young women, called the Pink-Ribbon Murders.

Both women were murdered at recent house parties and many hostesses have stopped holding parties. Lord Northbrook's mother decides she will buck concerns and hold a house party to find a wife for her son. Knowing this is the only way she will be invited to a party, Lady Katherine accepts the matchmaking job for Annie Pickering.

Spurring Lady Katherine's desire to solve the murders is her father's promise that he will turn over her dowry to her if she solves the case. Of course Lady Katherine wants to be a detective, but an earl's daughter isn't usually employed in that field.

The house party draws several young women looking for husbands and many men looking for wives
or just looking for a good time. There's much competition among the matchmakers and the young women. Although Katherine tries her best in the matchmaking arena, her heart is interested in solving the case.

When Katherine's arch enemy Dorian Wayland turns up at the event, she is sure he is trying to solve the case before her. She has never trusted him and even though he is charming and handsome, she wants no part of him or his desire to collaborate.

The plot weaves in and out and Katherine begins to despair that nothing will happen at this party when a young women is injured in an assault. This focuses Katherine and she sets out to solve the case.

The customs and habits of the aristocracy are a fascinating study and Leighann Dobbs portrays them well.  Life for women in this era was definitely interesting, but limiting. Katherine's spunk and intelligence sets her apart.

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