Monday, November 13, 2017

Death at the Emerald by R. J. Koreto - #review #giveaway

One-named stunning actress Helen mysteriously vanished 30 years ago. An elderly family friend is unable to bear not knowing any longer and commissions Lady Frances Ffolkes to track her down. Taking on the role of Lady Sherlock, with her loyal maid Mallow drafted as her Watson, Frances finds herself immersed in the glamorous world of Edwardian theater and London’s latest craze—motion pictures.

As Frances and Mallow make their way through the theaters, they meet colorful figures such as George Bernard Shaw and King Edward II. Tracking the theaters seems like a dead end. That is until one of Helen’s old suitors is suddenly murdered. With the stakes raised, Frances and Mallow work quickly to uncover a box of subtle clues to Helen’s whereabouts. But someone unexpected wants that box just as badly and is willing to kill to keep it shut.

The stage is set for murder and Frances and Mallow are determined to unravel the decades-old conspiracy in Death at the Emerald, R. J. Koreto’s third installment in the captivating Lady Frances Ffolkes mysteries.



I'm sitting here wondering if it's a throwback to the old Masterpiece Theatre show of "Upstairs, Downstairs" that first fueled my love of this time period.  All I know is that it still goes strong today, at least the reading and watching movies part.

If you were living back then, especially if you were working-class, poor, or *gasp* a woman, life wasn't a continual party.  So when you get a feisty heroine from this time period, I sit up and take notice.  Such it is with R. J. Koreto's "Death at the Emerald", a Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery.

Frances (oh, how egalitarian of me, most people would call her 'Lady Frances') comes from a titled family, and her reputation for being involved in police matters in more than a casual way has raised some eyebrows in society, and even amongst her own family.  Add to that the fact that while, unmarried, she lives outside the family home.  (Feel free to insert an, "Egad," here if this shocks you as well. *lol*)  And she styles herself as 'the first lady consulting detective' a la Sherlock Holmes.  And, perhaps most scandalous of all, she is involved with the women's suffrage movement.

R. J. Koreto writes in a style as sumptuous as any of the ladies' gowns in the opening scene of "Death at the Emerald".  The words are rich and satisfying, which adds to the story and mystery and a reader's enjoyment thereof.  If I can draw out this fashion metaphor a little longer, if books were haute couture, R.J. Koreto would be THE go-to designer for the red-carpet awards season.

So, am I gushing just a little?  Yes.
Am I a fangirl?  Yes.
Is the book really that good?  YES!!!



R.J. Koreto is the author of the Lady Frances Ffolkes mystery series, set in Edwardian England, and the Alice Roosevelt mystery series, set in turn-of-the-century New York. His short stories have been published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

In his day job, he works as a business and financial journalist. Over the years, he’s been a magazine writer and editor, website manager, PR consultant, book author, and seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Like his heroine, Lady Frances Ffolkes, he’s a graduate of Vassar College.

With his wife and daughters, he divides his time between Rockland County, N.Y., and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.




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(Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escape Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)