Bright Young Dead, a novel by Jessica Fellowes, is the second book in the author’s Mitford series. This series features fictitious Louisa Cannon, who works as the nanny for the real-life Mitford family. The Mitfords are a well-known wealthy family of England. The six Mitford daughters, all reaching their formative years in the 1930s, were infamous for their somewhat scandalous behavior, and for epitomizing the early 20th Century.
In this particular novel, Nancy Mitford has a party with about a dozen of her friends, one of whom is pushed off the ledge of the nearby church’s bell tower. Immediately suspected is one of the party attendee’s maids, who accompanied her to the party as a chaperone, and who had an affair with the dead man.
Louisa, along with her friend Guy, a London police officer, set out to find the truth about Adrian Curtis’ murder. Along the way, we meet Alice Diamond and the Forty Thieves, a real-life gang of thieves in the 1930s. The gang was infamous for their thieving ways, but also for consisting of all women.
Given the lively story line, I expected the book to be much more engaging than I found it to be. I love to learn about history through novels, but this story moved very slowly. It was interesting enough to make me finish the book, but up until the final few chapters, it was oh so slow, despite the unique (and true) characters.
I read the first book in the series, The Mitford Murders, and enjoyed that book much more. I will give the next book in the series a try, and see if I just wasn’t in the right mood for this book.