Cover image for The Mitford scandal
The Mitford scandal
Physical Description:
369 pages ; 25 cm.

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R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
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In the third book in the Mitford Murders series, lady's maid Louisa Cannon accompanies Diana Mitford into a turbulent late 1920s Europe.

The year is 1928, and after the death of a maid at a glamorous society party, fortune heir Bryan Guinness seizes life and proposes to eighteen-year-old Diana, most beautiful of the six Mitford sisters. The maid's death is ruled an accident, and the newlyweds put it behind them to begin a whirlwind life zipping between London's Mayfair, chic Paris and hedonistic Berlin. Accompanying Diana as her lady's maid is Louisa Cannon, as well as a coterie of friends, family and hangers on, from Nancy Mitford to Evelyn Waugh.

When a second victim is found in Paris in 1931, Louisa begins to see links with the death of the maid two years previously. Now she must convince the Mitford sisters that a murderer could be within their midst . . . all while shadows darken across Europe, and within the heart of Diana Mitford herself.

Author Notes

JESSICA FELLOWES is an author, journalist, and public speaker. She is the author of The Mitford Murders novels as well as the New York Times bestselling official companion books to the Downton Abbey TV series. Former deputy director of Country Life , and columnist for the Mail on Sunday , she has written for the Daily Telegraph , the Guardian , The Sunday Times , and The Lady . Jessica has spoken at events across the UK and US, and has made numerous appearances on radio and television. She lives in Oxfordshire with her family.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Heavy-handed foreshadowing mars bestseller Fellowes's third mystery featuring the real-life Mitford family (after 2018's Bright Young Dead). In 1928, two years after former criminal Louisa Cannon left the employ of the Mitfords, for whom she worked as a nursery maid, Louisa returns to service with the Guinness family. Louisa crosses paths with her now grown former charges, Nancy and Diana Mitford, at a party her employers are hosting in London, which ends tragically with a servant falling to her death in an apparent accident. After Diana marries Bryan Guinness in 1929, Louisa joins her as a ladies' maid, a job that takes her to Paris, where she runs across her sometime love interest, Det. Sgt. Guy Sullivan, who's on the trail of another servant, who disappeared after working in the Guinness home the night of the fatal gala. While in Paris, one of Bryan's friends dies, also apparently accidentally. More deaths follow. Thin characterizations, especially of Diana, who would go on to marry British fascist Oswald Mosley, don't enhance a lumbering plot. Series fans will be disappointed. Agent: Caroline Michel, Peters Fraser and Dunlop (U.K.). (Jan.)

Kirkus Review

Louisa Cannon, still in the orbit of the inimitable Mitford sisters in 1928 London, finds herself caught in their mysteries for the third timeand longing to be reunited with her partner in sleuthing, Guy Sullivan of the CID.Since leaving her job as a servant with the Mitford family (Bright Young Dead, 2018), Louisa's been scraping by. One odd job finds her serving at a grand party in the London Season, where wealthy, debonair Bryan Guinness is wooing Diana Mitford when, suddenly and horribly, a maid peering at the glamorous scene falls through a skylight to her death. It seems a tragic accident, but Louisa had noticed Rose Morgan, another maid, accepting a mysterious packet from a rough-mannered stranger at the back door. When Rose disappears after the party, newly promoted Guy Sullivan refuses to let the matter drop. In a stroke of good fortune, Diana offers Louisa a position as her lady's maid, and they set off together on Diana and Bryan's honeymoon in Paris. Guy, acting on a tip about Rose, follows a hunch and his heart to find Louisa in Paris despite his own engagement to another woman. His presence is both a relief and a complication for Louisa, for he appears the morning after the sudden death of Shaun Mulloney, one of the Bright Young Things who attend Bryan and Diana. Was his death merely an allergic reaction mixed with excessive drink, or was it something more sinister, perhaps arranged by his jealous wife? The gendarmes think it's a case of allergic reaction; Guy and Louisa find only traces of Rose; and Diana, Bryan, and their friends, accompanied by Louisa, embark on a trip to Venice. But this adventure is marred by tragedy as well, as yet another Bright Young Thing dies of opium overdose. And this time, Nancy Mitford is placed under arrest.A richly detailed period piece whose implausible solution is outweighed by its deft weaving of historical fact and imagined intrigue. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Resourceful lady's maid Louisa Cannon returns along with the six fascinating Mitford sisters in another authentic Golden Age-style mystery (after Bright Young Dead, 2018). Based on actual events at the turbulent end of the 1920s in Europe, the story takes the reader from young Diana Mitford's marriage to brewery heir Bryan Guinness and into her betrayal of him when she falls under the sway of Sir Oswald Mosley and becomes an acolyte of Adolph Hitler. A young housemaid dies at a glamorous society party the night of Bryan's proposal, and the circumstances of a second death two years later in Paris lead Louisa to believe there is a connection between the two crimes and that the murderer might be found within the midst of their coterie of Bright Young Things, including Diana's ardent admirer Evelyn Waugh. Fellowes is the author of the best-selling Downton Abbey books and the niece of Downton Abbey's creator, Julian Fellowes and this series is perfect for devotees who need something to tide them over until the next Downton film. Fans of Downton ladies' maid Anna, in particular, will relish the story of Louisa and her romantic interest, Detective Sergeant Guy Sullivan.--Jane Murphy Copyright 2020 Booklist