Lady Harriet confesses to murdering her husband but Chief Inspector Beech isn’t convinced. Esme, the Lady’s maid tells Beech that her mistress is ill and needs medical help. The Lady refuses to be checked by a male doctor and when Beech suggests a female doctor, Lady Harriet is shocked to hear that women too can be doctors.
Beech calls his friend and doctor, Caroline Allardyce, to check on Lady Harriet. Caroline finds out that the Lady has had a miscarriage and if not operated on immediately, she might lose her life. Lady Harriet’s husband kicked her in the stomach and in self-defense, she killed her husband. It is believed that when Lord Murcheson returned from the war, he was altogether a different man and sought medical help from a doctor named McKinley. But no medicine could control the Lord’s temper. Lady Harriet confesses that he forced himself on her during his worse days.
Chief Inspector Beech, with the permission of Sir Edward Henry, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, forms a group that helps women who go through domestic violence. The group consists of two women – Victoria Ellingham and Caroline Allardyce and two men – Billy Rigsby and Arthur Tollman, and is headed by Beech.
To get to the truth, the crew go from high society to the shady alleys of London.
Victoria Ellingham, a widow, Beech’s friend and former love interest.
Caroline Allardyce, Beech and Victoria’s friend, a doctor.
Billy Rigsby, looks like Greek God, had served on the front during the war and after an injury, he was moved to the Metropolitan Police service.
Arthur Tollman, a retired police, father of three daughters, widower.
Lady Maud – Victoria’s mother; Esme – lady Harriet’s maid, Polly – a skivvy at the Murcheson house; Dodds – butler; Elsie and Sissy – mother and aunt of Rigsby
What a wonderful start to a series! Murder in Belgravia is a delightful and engaging read. I absolutely loved the story. The story is set in Britain during the first World War.
The war had a lot of consequences on people. Not just bombing, there was a rise in crimes in general and crimes against women. And it just doesn’t end there. Drug trade and flesh trade were also at a high. Male brothels and female brothels were frequented by men of high society. Domestic violence in the well-known was also on a rise.
Lynn Brittney, the author, has included all these in the story and she deserves a standing ovation. Have you read a story that involves WW1, domestic violence, women’s suffragettes and Women Sleuths? I hadn’t until I came across A Murder in Belgravia.
Brittney’s storytelling skills are simply marvelous. I was hooked on to the book till the end. It was completely engrossing and at the same time, interesting. I was curious to know who killed Lord Murcheson. Not Lady Harriet, no. She was not in a position to kill him, at least not after he hit her so badly that she fainted!
The story gets even more interesting when butler’s role in the murder comes into the picture. It is either the wife or the butler when the man of the house is found murdered, isn’t it? Well, not always!
I love stories in which women are portrayed as strong and independent. Mind you, this story was set during the times when women were not allowed to vote or work. The war changed all of this and many more. There are a lot of female characters in this book and each one of them have a story of their own. Not just the females, the story equally concentrates on the male characters, and this includes the boys who were found in the male brothel.
I started reading this story on New Year’s Eve and completed it on the 1st. I must say that this is one of the best stories that I have read in 2019. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the Mayfair 100 Mystery. If you are a fan of Historical Fiction and stories set during the World War, then do not miss to read this book.
Character Development: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Title: Murder in Belgravia ( A Mayfair 100 Mystery)
Author: Lynn Brittney
Publication Date: 13 March 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime and Mystery
Featured Image Credits: NetGalley
I received this ARC from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.