A Death by Any Other Name Blog Tour and Review

A Death by Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication date: March 14, 2017
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Publisher for an honest review

Building on the success of her last two mysteries in the same series, Tessa Arlen returns us to the same universe full of secrets, intrigue, and, this time, roses in 'A Death By Any Other Name'. 

The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, investigate a murder among a group of amateur rose-breeders while the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of the First World War.

When Mrs. Jackson receives a visit from a cook who believes she was an indirect witness to murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree Lady Montfort promises to do what she can to clear the cook’s name, and contrives an invitation to Hyde Castle, the home of a self-made millionaire, to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires. 

With the help of the invaluable Jackson Lady Montfort sets about solving the puzzle surrounding the death of the rose society’s most popular member and discovers a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders. 

While they investigate, the headlines bring news of the growing crisis in the Balkans following the assassination of.the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire. As each day brings more threatening news and the very real fear that Britain will be drawn into war, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson must race against the clock to solve the mystery before Britain declares on Germany.

Brimming with intrigue, Tessa Arlen's latest does not disappoint.

My Take:

As with each of the other Tessa Arlen novels, I thoroughly enjoyed A Death by Any Other Name. The Lady Montfort mysteries have become my favorite escape reads. In the third novel, Mrs. Jackson hears about a suspicious death which was blamed on food poisoning and a woman loses her job with no prospects for future employment. Mrs. Jackson is sympathetic towards the woman and knows that her employer, Lady Montfort, would love to investigate the incident. Despite her reservations, Mrs. Jackson does bring the matter to Lady Montfort and they are soon contriving to obtain invitations to the home and embark on a new investigation and adventure.

This mystery was quite fun to read -- there are some great supporting characters, some with lots of quirks and great potential murderers. The backdrop to the novel is a meeting of amateur rose breeders who are very devoted to their pastime - for some, maybe too devoted. Despite the beautiful summer days, there is also much political turmoil as the country gets closer to war. The tension from both the rivalry among friends and the idea of war on the horizon help lend to the sense of urgency for solving the mysterious death for the women.

A Death by Any Other Name is a lovely, cozy mystery that is fast paced without being frenzied or too stressful -- sometimes I really enjoy this beautiful type of mystery -- the scenery is lovely, the people are polite and refined and yet the mystery is engaging and the resolutions is satisfactory. At the end of each of the novels, I am happy and yet a little anxious to see what the next mystery will be. I don't think a mystery reader could ask for much more than that. The Lady Montfort Mysteries have become my favorite suggestion to friends and family and A Death by Any Other Name is a great addition to the series.

About the Author

TESSA ARLEN is the author of Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman. She is the daughter of a British diplomat, and had lived in or visited her parents in Singapore, Berlin, the Persian Gulf, Beijing, Delhi and Warsaw by the time she was sixteen. She came to the U.S. in 1980 and worked as an H.R. recruiter for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games, where she interviewed her future husband for a job. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington


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