I’ll be honest with you; lately I’ve read so many of these mysteries featuring high-society lady detectives that they’re all starting to run together. Murder at Archly Manor, the first in what’s called the High Society Lady Detective series by author Sara Rosett, while not quite Agatha Christie material, was a fun romp with high society in 1920s England.
Olive Belgrade is a solid member of the aristocratic class in London, but that doesn’t mean she’s rich. In fact, she is barely making ends meet, and is finding job-hunting to be unsuccessful. While visiting relatives, she learns that her cousin Violet is newly engaged to a man that nobody trusts. There is too much about his background that is vague. This leads to that, and Olive is hired by her aunt to look into Alfred’s background.
To this end, Olive attends a weekend party given by an aristocrat who actually IS rich. Unfortunately, before Olive can find out too much, Alfred is killed. Olive sets out to find the murderer.
First novels are always hit-or-miss. The reader needs to learn a lot about the characters. Rosett does a good job of introducing us to Olive and her friends, making them likable and mostly believable.
I found Murder at Archly Manor to be a good cozy mystery, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.