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A Nefarious Engagement

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Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, twenty-six-year-old Beatrice Hyde-Clare finds herself a little overwhelmed by her engagement to the Duke of Kesgrave. Cloying society matrons clamor for her attention while her aunt reels off an endless list of servants she will have to oversee. Even the most intrepid female would quake at the prospect of managing eight foo Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, twenty-six-year-old Beatrice Hyde-Clare finds herself a little overwhelmed by her engagement to the Duke of Kesgrave. Cloying society matrons clamor for her attention while her aunt reels off an endless list of servants she will have to oversee. Even the most intrepid female would quake at the prospect of managing eight footmen! Fortunately, Bea knows the perfect distraction—an intriguing mystery—and pays a call on the Countess of Abercrombie, who had promised her that very thing only the evening before. But her ladyship is reluctant to discuss the details with a newly minted duchess-to-be, and it dawns on Bea that the investigation cuts closer to home than she could have ever imagined. Because this time the murder victims are her own mother and father, who had died twenty years before in a seemingly straightforward boating accident. Alas, nothing is straightforward, and as Bea digs into her past, she discovers with growing horror that she has no more idea how to be a daughter than she does a duchess. A Regency Cozy.


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Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, twenty-six-year-old Beatrice Hyde-Clare finds herself a little overwhelmed by her engagement to the Duke of Kesgrave. Cloying society matrons clamor for her attention while her aunt reels off an endless list of servants she will have to oversee. Even the most intrepid female would quake at the prospect of managing eight foo Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, twenty-six-year-old Beatrice Hyde-Clare finds herself a little overwhelmed by her engagement to the Duke of Kesgrave. Cloying society matrons clamor for her attention while her aunt reels off an endless list of servants she will have to oversee. Even the most intrepid female would quake at the prospect of managing eight footmen! Fortunately, Bea knows the perfect distraction—an intriguing mystery—and pays a call on the Countess of Abercrombie, who had promised her that very thing only the evening before. But her ladyship is reluctant to discuss the details with a newly minted duchess-to-be, and it dawns on Bea that the investigation cuts closer to home than she could have ever imagined. Because this time the murder victims are her own mother and father, who had died twenty years before in a seemingly straightforward boating accident. Alas, nothing is straightforward, and as Bea digs into her past, she discovers with growing horror that she has no more idea how to be a daughter than she does a duchess. A Regency Cozy.

30 review for A Nefarious Engagement

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Take note authors who write alpha-male romance heroes. Those guys suck. Make them like the Duke of Kesgrave. He is all things #goals. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for the rest of this book. Some moments were hilarious. But this story is designed to be more personal, more emotional, and as a result it becomes more angsty. Bea is researching the possible murder of her parents and she isn't going to let logic interrupt her emotions. It is exhausting. The murderer is obvious from the moment hi Take note authors who write alpha-male romance heroes. Those guys suck. Make them like the Duke of Kesgrave. He is all things #goals. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for the rest of this book. Some moments were hilarious. But this story is designed to be more personal, more emotional, and as a result it becomes more angsty. Bea is researching the possible murder of her parents and she isn't going to let logic interrupt her emotions. It is exhausting. The murderer is obvious from the moment his name comes up and if Bea paused for one second to think about it she would realize most of her worst fears were unfounded. It felt out of character for her. I know this on is supposed to bring character growth but I missed the dry, unassuming heroine who throws herself into things we met in earlier books. This girl just locks herself in her room and cries. But the main couple remains lovely so on to the next book I go!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Meh. The momentum that started at the end of book 3 just fizzled here. What should be the most interesting mystery (What happened to her parents?) I found boring. I ended up reading the ending after about two chapters because all of Bea's sturm und drang got annoying quite fast. (I went back and read the whole book in order.) Without Kesgrave as the emotion and intellectual foil for almost all of the novel, Bea's constant "Am I becoming a dormouse again?" inner monologue had me doing my best Mon Meh. The momentum that started at the end of book 3 just fizzled here. What should be the most interesting mystery (What happened to her parents?) I found boring. I ended up reading the ending after about two chapters because all of Bea's sturm und drang got annoying quite fast. (I went back and read the whole book in order.) Without Kesgrave as the emotion and intellectual foil for almost all of the novel, Bea's constant "Am I becoming a dormouse again?" inner monologue had me doing my best Monty Python impression: "Get on with it!". I love the series and hope the fifth installment will be a return to form.

  3. 5 out of 5

    TrixieB

    Those who say this final book is a disappointment because there isn't enough Duke, have misunderstood a few things. 1: He is not the star of this book. It's okay for men to not be the centre of everything. 2: Much as I love him, the Duke is only one part of Bea's journey. This book gives us other parts. Important parts. 3: The Duke models what non-toxic masculinity looks like. That's a good thing. This final installment is a gem. We luckily get more of Grandmother. We understand so much more about e Those who say this final book is a disappointment because there isn't enough Duke, have misunderstood a few things. 1: He is not the star of this book. It's okay for men to not be the centre of everything. 2: Much as I love him, the Duke is only one part of Bea's journey. This book gives us other parts. Important parts. 3: The Duke models what non-toxic masculinity looks like. That's a good thing. This final installment is a gem. We luckily get more of Grandmother. We understand so much more about everyone in Bea's life. I don't want to give anything away, but it's truly satisfying.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Giese Witherspoon

    “No, my love, if we miss our opportunity to break into [his] residence tonight, the consequences will be grave, for I’m convinced you would never let me forget it was my fault. Then you won’t invite me to help the next time you break into a gentleman’s apartments and I will be forced to sneak up on you whilst you are hiding in a dark corner, and your shout of alarm will alert the butler, which will cause a great ruckus involving Runners and magistrates. And that must be avoided at all costs.” Hea “No, my love, if we miss our opportunity to break into [his] residence tonight, the consequences will be grave, for I’m convinced you would never let me forget it was my fault. Then you won’t invite me to help the next time you break into a gentleman’s apartments and I will be forced to sneak up on you whilst you are hiding in a dark corner, and your shout of alarm will alert the butler, which will cause a great ruckus involving Runners and magistrates. And that must be avoided at all costs.” Heart hands and heart eyes and ALL the hearts (I haven’t figured out how to add emojis to Goodreads reviews, so you’ll just have to imagine them)…for Bea and Damien’s mutual adoration, respect, love, banter, and partnership in crime detection. They are quickly turning into one of my favorite fictional couples of all time. I found the mystery in this book to be truly compelling as Bea investigates her parents’ deaths and, in the process, discovers the truth of their lives. Who were they really? Did they love each other? Did they love her? I’m addicted to this series and am hoping (pleading!) for book 5 and book 6 and book 7…

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Messina did a little too good a job at portraying the ridiculousness of polite society in this one. For me it went beyond amusing to tedious. Bea spent way too much time being berated and lectured by her aunt. I loved the parts where she escaped, though, and any moment with Kesgrave was delightful.

  6. 5 out of 5

    HR-ML

    This series: Book #1 : 4 stars, Book #2 : 3.5 stars Book #3 : 4 stars, Book #4 : 3 stars Regency. Bea & Damien both enjoyed puzzles & mysteries. Bea and Damien got engaged. Bea should have ignored the negative feedback about her engagement. I hoped that Bea would gain in self-esteem as the series progressed. Why not allow her this? The subject matter got a little darker this time round. Several things went through my mind about this series. Bea's aunt lectured Bea often. But the aunt was the rude This series: Book #1 : 4 stars, Book #2 : 3.5 stars Book #3 : 4 stars, Book #4 : 3 stars Regency. Bea & Damien both enjoyed puzzles & mysteries. Bea and Damien got engaged. Bea should have ignored the negative feedback about her engagement. I hoped that Bea would gain in self-esteem as the series progressed. Why not allow her this? The subject matter got a little darker this time round. Several things went through my mind about this series. Bea's aunt lectured Bea often. But the aunt was the rudest of them all! Tilly the countess decided to mentor Bea, but she was too blunt RE Bea's perceived faults. Especially the dig about Bea's figure. I rooted for the H+h to cherish each other. Bea showed Damien in many ways she didn't trust him. Must she start investigations alone? The author referenced too many events from previous stories, and this ruined the flow of the current story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Merry Jewelhound

    I did not like this book and am giving it 2.5 stars and rounding it up to 3 as I have really enjoyed the series up till now. The first 60% of the book was boring. The plot should have been part of a book as it had to do with the history of the h. but offered little else as there was no humor and little of the Duke in it. I will continue to read the series as I have enjoyed all up till this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Duration: 7 hrs 56 mins. A Nefarious Engagement: A Regency Cozy, Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries, Book 4 by Lynn Messina is the fourth book in a charming series which follows a determined bluestocking and her fastidious Duke as they find their way out of whatever tangle Bea has managed to get herself into. This time Beatrice's mysteries are far closer to home than any she has been forced to confront before. Audible summary: Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, 26-year-old Beatrice Hyde Duration: 7 hrs 56 mins. A Nefarious Engagement: A Regency Cozy, Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries, Book 4 by Lynn Messina is the fourth book in a charming series which follows a determined bluestocking and her fastidious Duke as they find their way out of whatever tangle Bea has managed to get herself into. This time Beatrice's mysteries are far closer to home than any she has been forced to confront before. Audible summary: Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, 26-year-old Beatrice Hyde Clare finds herself a little overwhelmed by her engagement to the Duke of Kesgrave. Cloying society matrons clamor for her attention while her aunt reels off an endless list of servants she will have to oversee. Even the most intrepid female would quake at the prospect of managing eight footmen! Fortunately, Bea knows the perfect distraction - an intriguing mystery - and pays a call on the Countess of Abercrombie, who had promised her that very thing only the evening before. But her ladyship is reluctant to discuss the details with a newly minted duchess-to-be, and it dawns on Bea that the investigation cuts closer to home than she could have ever imagined because this time the murder victims are her own mother and father, who had died 20 years before in a seemingly straightforward boating accident. Alas, nothing is straightforward, and as Bea digs into her past, she discovers with growing horror that she has no more idea how to be a daughter than she does a duchess. ©2019 Lynn Messina (P)2019 Lynn Messina As with the preceding books in the series, far too much of this book's opening is devoted to describing each of the earlier plots, which serves little purpose. Even for this book to be considered a standalone it need not go into such detail about Bea's previous mysteries. There is little motivation for anyone who has not read the other books to seek them out when each plot is recapped so thoroughly. Other cozy mystery series' often allude to earlier cases - perhaps even revealing key clues where pertinent or necessary to jog one's memory - but they do not summarise the entire investigation and its outcome. It detracts a little from the joy I feel at returning to these characters, and can make the first chapter or two rather slow going. That aside, it is always a delight to meet once more with Bea and Kesgrave, for their relationship is full of wit and warmth. That is perhaps most evident in this outing, when the depth of the Duke's understanding of Beatrice's character is matched only by his unwavering affection for her. And she needs it, more than ever, as she faces the most personal murder mystery yet; the deaths of her parents. This book wove together many of the strands of the previous books, and Bea required all the skills she had mastered during her other investigations to get to the bottom of things. It also provided a wonderful opportunity to get to know Kesgrave better, and imagining him picking locks in grand houses as a curious, entitled little boy was adorable enough that I almost didn't mind him being named Damian. There were moments in this book which were some of my favourites of the series so far. I very much enjoy the interactions between Bea and Kesgrave and they felt far more like a team in this book. Their relationship always makes me smile and his profound respect for Beatrice's bluestocking-eccentricities is as charming as the pride she has in his meticulous precision. Yet, even their most tender moments have any sickly-sweetness tempered by teasing and dry wit, and it is easy to imagine their love enduring throughout their lives together, which cannot often be said for Regency couplings. Whilst we did not get to see as much of the Dowager as I would have liked, we were introduced to the delightfully inquisitive and opinionated Mrs Palmer. I can imagine her being a good - if challenging - friend to Bea, and that is something we have not really seen. The closest thing to a friend Bea really has is Kesgrave, and it would be interesting to see how she interacted with another bright, articulate woman who could keep up with her. One of the most surprising aspects of this story was the way in which Messina did such a good job of redeeming Aunt Vera. Always neurotic and often unfeeling, Vera's treatment of her niece has always seemed rather thoughtless and resentful, so it was fascinating to glimpse another side to her - and her motivations - this time around. On the opposite scale, I was a little disappointed that the Earl's story ended the way it did, as I had hoped that his proclivities tended in a slightly different direction, which would have tied in nicely with an earlier moment in the book and would have aligned with the noticeably more progressive tone of this novel compared to the others. On a very personal level I also appreciated the passing references to Portsmouth in this story, including the mention of HMS Royal George, one of whose guns is still on display a few miles from here in Southsea Castle, not far from other artifacts held within the archives of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which will always be very dear to me and is one of my supported charities. The narrator, Jill Smith, embodies Miss Hyde-Clare very well, bringing her to life with a sprightly sincerity that makes Bea very appealing. The audiobook is still plagued by a sprinkling of mispronunciations ("whilst", "Hartlepool", "Berkley", "iron", "foie gras", "swathed", etc) but they do not detract from the enjoyment of the story and are far less obtrusive than in some of the previous books. Smith's narration is, overall, very engaging and full of character. Both the author and the narrator have worked hard to polish and perfect each new release, and it shows in the blossoming quality of the books. As Beatrice and Kesgrave gain confidence in their footing with each other, so, it feels, has the team responsible for sharing them with us. I recommend this series to everyone who enjoys cosy mysteries or Regency romance, but I would advise starting with the first book in the series, A Brazen Curiosity, to avoid spoilers. Here are the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Cozy Mystery Series books in order, and my previous reviews of each: Book 1 - A Brazen Curiosity, Book 2 - A Scandalous Deception, Book 3 - An Infamous Betrayal, Book 4 - A Nefarious Engagement. *I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. If you liked this review then please join me for more! | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

  9. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    3.5-3.75 stars? 3 stars for the plot and a whole star for the Duke! Picking up right where the previous book left off, Beatrice Hyde-Clare is pleased to have finally won the acceptance of her proposal to the Duke of Kesgrave. However, her aunt and uncle are less than pleased. Now they must invite the Dowager Duchess to tea! How can Aunt Vera invite a Duchess to tea without refurbishing the dining room and what about their wardrobe? They'll all need to be decked out in the first stare of fashion! 3.5-3.75 stars? 3 stars for the plot and a whole star for the Duke! Picking up right where the previous book left off, Beatrice Hyde-Clare is pleased to have finally won the acceptance of her proposal to the Duke of Kesgrave. However, her aunt and uncle are less than pleased. Now they must invite the Dowager Duchess to tea! How can Aunt Vera invite a Duchess to tea without refurbishing the dining room and what about their wardrobe? They'll all need to be decked out in the first stare of fashion! While Aunt Vera drones on about all the staff Bea will be responsible for, Bea begins to doubt her ability to make a good Duchess. For one thing, she's bored without the intellectual stimulation of an investigation. While the Duke seems to be avoiding her, Bea sets off on her own to accept the commission of her mother's old friend, Lady Abercrombie. Lady Abercrombie has a mystery for Bea to solve and this one hits near to home. Lady Abercrombie has reason to believe Bea's parents were murdered! Bea was led to believe they died in a tragic boating accident but Lady Abercrombie believes their death may have had something to do with the nefarious English Correspondence Guild, a group of workingmen who Prime Minister Pitt believed to be plotting to overthrow the government and bring revolution to England. Bea's parents were somehow secretly involved in discovering the secrets of the Guild and those secrets may have led to their deaths. Bea is shocked to her very core but determined to confront the evil murderers who killed her parents. Sadly, the Duke is not by her side. She longs for him and wishes for him to join her in this investigation but her pride will not allow her to go to him and be hurt if he has changed his mind about their engagement. So, alone, Bea sets out to solve the mystery of her parents' deaths. Hmm I have mixed feelings about this book. I do not like it when the heroines think they're not good enough for the hero. He chose you, Bea, He chose to participate in your adventures. He chose NOT to propose to Lady Victoria. Her self-doubts and recriminations bog down the first half of the story. Once she finally talks to him the romance improves. I'm very much in love with Damien myself! The mystery was REALLY obvious. I figured out who did it and why right away. I was surprised it took Bea so long. What Aunt Vera told her did not match up to everything else Bea is told about her parents. I was pleased Bea didn't believe it for too long. For the sake of a story she has to chase after some red herrings but clever readers will know the truth. The story ends before the wedding and a new book will be released in the fall. I want it now!!! There are some passionate kisses but fortunately no body parts are throbbing and heaving. I really enjoyed the history of the Correspondence Guild, a sort of early trade union, and how the French Revolution affected Britain. The Prime Minister was paranoid, delusional, terrified and tyrannical. He refused to give rights to the common man, fearing a revolution. Hmm that sounds familiar. I want to be nitpicking about the Regency history though. I don't understand Aunt Vera and Uncle Horace's parsimony. Most parents/guardians are thrilled to have their daughters marry up. Isn't that what they're supposed to do? Also, family heirloom jewels weren't usually worn everyday and they were passed down with the estate so of course Bea's uncle would have inherited her mother's bracelet for his wife. He would keep it in a safe or the bank not in the house. Of course this part of the plot makes Bea into Harry Potter with her family providing some comic relief. Then Aunt Vera makes a surprising revelation that gives new insight into her character. While she is still annoying and cheap, Bea, and the reader, learn to have some empathy for her. Uncle Horace becomes more sympathetic too. Bea's squabbling cousins are funny and sound very realistic. We get to know Damien's grandmother better. The Dowager Duchess is a delightful surprise. She seems like a grown-up more dignified Bea. No wonder Damien loves Bea! Viscount Nuneaton makes a brief appearance but more important is his sister, Mrs. Palmer. I love her! She's an outspoken woman with Whiggish tendencies and will browbeat any man who dares disagree with her. I don't approve of nagging and bullying to get people to agree with one's point-of-view but I'm sure she does it charmingly. She has very modern, American ideas. I think she will be a great friend for Bea. The English Correspondence Guild leader, Jeffries, is an honest workingman who just wants to support his family and be represented in the government. Alas, the last time the British heard "no taxation without representation" they lost the American colonies so the Prime Minister was dead set against that. I like Jeffries and everything he stands for except for his feelings about Bea's parents. Lord Braxfield fits the profile of a villain: a rakish seducer who keeps love tokens from his conquests. Yuck. Yet he surprised me too and I find him almost charming. The Earl of Wem doesn't appear on page until late in the story but he was Bea's father's closest friend. How heartbreaking to bring sad tidings of your best friend's death to his family. He strikes me as a bit cold and callous, especially towards Bea's mother. Bea's mother was awesome! She went one step farther than Mary Wollstonecraft and wrote her own feminist manifesto decrying double standards for men and women. She speaks for women even today. Sadly the same double standards still apply. Even though this book is a bit rough in parts, I ADORE the characters and can not WAIT to read more about them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Louise

    A charming continuation Newly engaged to the Duke of Kesgrave, Beatrice needs a distraction from both her aunt’s meddling and the gossip of town. What better way to distract herself than to investigate a murder? Specifically her parents’ untimely deaths. But the situation is fraught with danger and includes places no sensible female would be found. Clearly she needs to involve her fiancé, Damien, in her case. — OK this book needs some massive trigger warnings. I got triggered and I don’t want tha A charming continuation Newly engaged to the Duke of Kesgrave, Beatrice needs a distraction from both her aunt’s meddling and the gossip of town. What better way to distract herself than to investigate a murder? Specifically her parents’ untimely deaths. But the situation is fraught with danger and includes places no sensible female would be found. Clearly she needs to involve her fiancé, Damien, in her case. — OK this book needs some massive trigger warnings. I got triggered and I don’t want that to happen to others. Triggers for homophobia, classism, xenophobia, obsession, domestic abuse, parental neglect, parental death, child abuse, child neglect, stalking, infidelity, bullying, And possessive jealousy. Please make sure you’re in a good place before reading this. I’m not fully sure where to start with my review on this one. I enjoyed the story and I especially enjoyed Damien and Beatrice’s interactions with each other particularly their discussions on love and trust. But there’s also a lot to unpack here. The story behind Beatrice‘s parents death isn’t straightforward. Nor are the results that happened because of it. There’s some pretty hard subjects and can be seen as a fairly light book. As readers, we’ve known for a while that Beatrice has been the poor relation and as such has been treated shabbily by her aunt and uncle. But finding out the depths of her treatment and the cause of it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Additionally the cause of her parents deaths hit me quite hard. Because what happened to them came very very close to what could have happened to me. I am very very lucky that I spotted who the villain was early and prepared myself somewhat for the reasons for their villainy. But it still hit me hard. The clues are there but just in case mind the trigger warnings. And I suppose that’s what makes this a good story. The interactions between Damien and Beatrice are delightful as is Lady Abercrombie. I’m definitely looking forward to more of Beatrice and Damien’s adventures. Five Stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. To those who are a bit impatient like me to have the heroine of this series finally stop being so insecure, it takes a while in this book, but it does finally happen. I adored the duke in this one. The mystery was obvious to me, but the solving of it wasn't too ridiculous. I can overlook the (view spoiler)[cross dressing, sneaking out of the house (hide spoiler)] and other mild silliness. However, I'm glad that the heroine is finally moving away from her uncle, aunt, and cousins. They might not To those who are a bit impatient like me to have the heroine of this series finally stop being so insecure, it takes a while in this book, but it does finally happen. I adored the duke in this one. The mystery was obvious to me, but the solving of it wasn't too ridiculous. I can overlook the (view spoiler)[cross dressing, sneaking out of the house (hide spoiler)] and other mild silliness. However, I'm glad that the heroine is finally moving away from her uncle, aunt, and cousins. They might not mean to be hurtful in their careless comments, but I think they're vile. Safe, clean, and not sappy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joan Ahmed

    An unlikely slueth in Recency England This is a charming quirky series that I hope continues for a long, long time. A repressed spinster who lives on the charity of her parsimonious relatives comes out of her shell and reveals that though she may seem boring she is anything but. She is actually brilliant and feisty and talented at rooting out murders. She also wins the heart of a handsome duke. The series is very funny!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    Bea and Damien we’re separated for most of this book which I wasn’t a fan of, especially because of all of the progress they made at the end of the last one. I liked how her parents deaths were explained, although the lead up was quite boring until Damien came back into the picture. I thought I’d stop with this series after this one but it seems I cannot. As much as these books drag, I feel as though my person is entwined with the story and I must see it through to the end.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Despite everyone's expectations to the contrary, 'plain' spinster Beatrice Hyde-Clare has secured herself an engagement with the hadsome and illustrious Duke of Kesgrave, Damien Matlock. Daunted by the changes this will bring to her life in regards to her status and responsibilities, she is more than welcomes a destraction. Her distraction comes in the form of a shocking revelation. Not all is as she once understood it when it comes to the tragic demise of he parents. Staggered by the implication Despite everyone's expectations to the contrary, 'plain' spinster Beatrice Hyde-Clare has secured herself an engagement with the hadsome and illustrious Duke of Kesgrave, Damien Matlock. Daunted by the changes this will bring to her life in regards to her status and responsibilities, she is more than welcomes a destraction. Her distraction comes in the form of a shocking revelation. Not all is as she once understood it when it comes to the tragic demise of he parents. Staggered by the implications of this possibility Bea feels compelled to investigate. The investigation will teach her more about her parents than she has ever had the fortune to know before. But perhaps knowledge isn't always power and some truths are better left hidden in the past? __________________________________ A Nefarious Engagement is the fourth book in Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries series. I suppose you could get away with reading this book as a stand alone, as the author details the relevant background information that are pertinent to this mystery. But I highly recommend that you read these books together as a series and in order. It's the best way to truly appreciate the wonder that is Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare. I adored meeting Mrs. Palmer's character and I hope we get to see more of a friendship between her and Bea as the series continues. Bea needs some females around her that also go against the grain of society and are as witty and educated as her. Plus she needs some females in her life that she doesn't have such a complex relationship with, like members of her family that took her in after her parents died or a woman who was close friends with her deceased mother and feels guilty for not reaching out sooner. As happy as I was to meet Mrs. Palmer, I was even more so to see Kesgrave's grandmother again. I adore that woman. My respect for Damien really increased in this book. Sure he's not in this book as much as the others, but that's because he's giving Bea the space she needs to adjust to the engagement and her new status as the future Duchess of Kesgrave. This was actually one of my favorite aspcects of the book. Without giving any spoilers, I knew who our villain was as soon as a certain glint in the sunlight was mentioned in passing. And it NEARLY killed me as I waited anxiously for Bea to put the information together as well. I knew it would be worth it when it clicked for her, but I was having the hardest time being patient. And now I somehow have to find the strength to wait until November 15th to continue onto the fifth book in the series, A Treacherous Performance. But I'll be strong, I suppose three weeks won't kill me. While I wait, I plan to check out Lynn Messina's other Regency series, Love Takes Root.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I loved the first three books of the series, but this one was a little disappointing. I didn't enjoy the mystery, and Bea seemed to have stalled character development wise. I missed the banter and antics of the duke and Bea while "on the case" as well. I'm still invested in these characters and feel optimistic book 5 reaffirm my adoration for the series. I loved the first three books of the series, but this one was a little disappointing. I didn't enjoy the mystery, and Bea seemed to have stalled character development wise. I missed the banter and antics of the duke and Bea while "on the case" as well. I'm still invested in these characters and feel optimistic book 5 reaffirm my adoration for the series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Pryke

    Almost a five Were it not for the massive amount of time spent recapping the previous books in the series this would be an easy five atars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Koalathebear Koalathebear

    I tried to slow myself down but I devoured this book as soon as Amazon sent it through. It was like Christmas in April and I was not disappointed. I love how Messina writes the Bea-Damien dynamic. It's so warm, compelling and heart warming. They have fast become my favourite fictional pairing and I can't get them out of my head This book is charming, romantic, funny - and has pathos. I am so glad I discovered this series and this author and book 5 simply cannot come soon enough. In the interim I I tried to slow myself down but I devoured this book as soon as Amazon sent it through. It was like Christmas in April and I was not disappointed. I love how Messina writes the Bea-Damien dynamic. It's so warm, compelling and heart warming. They have fast become my favourite fictional pairing and I can't get them out of my head This book is charming, romantic, funny - and has pathos. I am so glad I discovered this series and this author and book 5 simply cannot come soon enough. In the interim I think I will just have to keep re-reading the first four novels and writing fan fic!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jani M

    The further I get into this series the more I like it In my review of the first book in this series, I indicated that I felt like there should be more character and setting development... I still feel that way, but really have come to like the main characters and their relationship... Good chemistry and funny. I thought I knew where the plot in this book was going and that it was going to get all dramatic as Bea self sabotaged her relationship, but it turned out lovely. Pretty much devoured this The further I get into this series the more I like it In my review of the first book in this series, I indicated that I felt like there should be more character and setting development... I still feel that way, but really have come to like the main characters and their relationship... Good chemistry and funny. I thought I knew where the plot in this book was going and that it was going to get all dramatic as Bea self sabotaged her relationship, but it turned out lovely. Pretty much devoured this book, impatiently waiting for the next 🙂

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cait

    The Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries book are all fun, and this one has some twists I definitely appreciated even in a book where I wasn't looking for anything complicated. But for real, I need Lynn Messina to stop explaining and re-explaining everything. It's only been 30 pages, Lynn...I get it. Pretty charming characters though. ;) The Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries book are all fun, and this one has some twists I definitely appreciated even in a book where I wasn't looking for anything complicated. But for real, I need Lynn Messina to stop explaining and re-explaining everything. It's only been 30 pages, Lynn...I get it. Pretty charming characters though. ;)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Librarian Janet Reads

    Regency romances are decidedly not on my “to read” list…but these aren’t what I think of as “typical Regency fare.” Beatrice is a smart, outspoken heroine who has people on her side who encourage her to be herself, rather than who Society thinks she should be. All that aside, this entry marks a very large turning point in Bea’s personal narrative.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    This one took a bit longer to really get going but once it did, I loved it. So… not quite as amazing as the previous books in the series, but still very good. I just love how Kesgrave treats Bea! None of that alpha male stuff you so often see in historical books with any kind of romance plot. Very much looking forward to more of this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lori D

    Superb This series keeps getting better and better if that is possible. I have fallen in love with the Duke and Bea and their special relationship. They are so in sync and have brilliant minds! As always the story and narrator pair together with perfection!

  23. 5 out of 5

    wilson

    trust,,,,in plot armor

  24. 4 out of 5

    AcidGirl

    The inner monologue is still distracting from the dialogues af. Sometimes it fits with the story, but overused. The romance part is beautiful depicting a very caring relationship. The mystery was obvious relatively early, but kept me emotionally invested. And I love how Kesgrave helps Hyde-Claire with her investigations and they're a team in mystery and mischief. The inner monologue is still distracting from the dialogues af. Sometimes it fits with the story, but overused. The romance part is beautiful depicting a very caring relationship. The mystery was obvious relatively early, but kept me emotionally invested. And I love how Kesgrave helps Hyde-Claire with her investigations and they're a team in mystery and mischief.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I keep saying this is the last one. But then I download the next one. Ok fine, just one more...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Another enjoyable volume from Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. In this offering, the mystery seemed secondary to Beatrice coming to terms with her engagement to Kesgrave and her finally learning to trust him and herself. I'm glad she was able to to so because it was getting to be a wee bit tedious to hear Beatrice constantly berate herself (we get enough of that from Aunt Vera). The writing style is still enjoyable, making it for a fun easy read. The plot wasn't complex, you should be a Another enjoyable volume from Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. In this offering, the mystery seemed secondary to Beatrice coming to terms with her engagement to Kesgrave and her finally learning to trust him and herself. I'm glad she was able to to so because it was getting to be a wee bit tedious to hear Beatrice constantly berate herself (we get enough of that from Aunt Vera). The writing style is still enjoyable, making it for a fun easy read. The plot wasn't complex, you should be able to figure out the ending as Ms. Messina leaves a trail of clues for the reader to follow. Beatrice's aunt and uncle are still vapid and self-absorbed, and at times, cruel; and her cousins petty. Aunt Vera and Uncle Horace's rationale for mistreating her for years is rubbish and shows how small minded they are - but I suppose that is the point. No wonder Beatrice wants to marry Kesgrave as soon as possible and get out of the house. Kesgrave, who had a diminished role in this volume (which is fine as he is NOT he main character of this series), was understanding, loving, and supportive of Beatrice - - a very new experience for her, and one which she (understandably) had some difficulty dealing with. Nothing earth shattering or new in this offering, still an enjoyable and fun read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Koch

    An intriguing mystery and fantastic romance sideline. I adore the female lead and while I wish she could have shown more trust in her fiance from earlier on, I could still understand and accept her reasoning. I like that the author didn't just end the couple's arc with a marriage proposal as if everything would be a fairytale herein after but really delved into the troubles that a spinster poor relation would encounter when marrying so far above herself. An intriguing mystery and fantastic romance sideline. I adore the female lead and while I wish she could have shown more trust in her fiance from earlier on, I could still understand and accept her reasoning. I like that the author didn't just end the couple's arc with a marriage proposal as if everything would be a fairytale herein after but really delved into the troubles that a spinster poor relation would encounter when marrying so far above herself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ananya Bose

    It is easy to assume that the dynamic between Bea and Kesgrave would change since they are together and we would lose that wonderful banter. It was hardly the case, instead it was even better because they are together. And Kesgrave's implicit trust on Bea is *chef's kiss" It is easy to assume that the dynamic between Bea and Kesgrave would change since they are together and we would lose that wonderful banter. It was hardly the case, instead it was even better because they are together. And Kesgrave's implicit trust on Bea is *chef's kiss"

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and any opinion expressed herein are my own. This is the fourth book of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries. It is a standalone book with no cliffhanger ending and you can read it without having read any of the prior books in the series. There are references to events which occurred in prior books but the author kindly provided quick summaries to bring you up-to-date (or remind you if it's been a while since you've read the prior b I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and any opinion expressed herein are my own. This is the fourth book of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries. It is a standalone book with no cliffhanger ending and you can read it without having read any of the prior books in the series. There are references to events which occurred in prior books but the author kindly provided quick summaries to bring you up-to-date (or remind you if it's been a while since you've read the prior books). However, if you are considering starting the series with this book, I would strongly recommend you start with the first book in the series (A Brazen Curiosity) so you can fully appreciate the character interactions and development. I really enjoy this series! This book starts soon after Bea and the Duke have gotten engaged. Bea, while so assertive in her investigations, is still insecure about her relationship with the Duke. It was wonderful how she slowly worked through those insecurities and put her desires in the forefront. You also get to learn about Bea's familial history as she investigates the death of her parents. For the most part, Bea does investigate on her own but this also helps Bea to put her own relationship with the Duke in perspective and allow Bea to grow. While I love the Bea-Duke dynamic and their wonderful conversations, I understood why the Duke was MIA for part of the book ( I did miss him though). I really enjoy this series and hope the investigations conducted by Bea and the Duke continue on. The narrator of this book, Jill Smiith, is spot on. She is the same narrator for all the books in the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beachreader

    Beatrice Hyde-Clare has a new mystery to solve in this entertaining series, and this one doesn't involve a dead body. So why is Bea reluctant to tell her fiance the Duke of Kesgrave that she is working on a case? Lady Abercrombie has asked Bea to investigate the death of her closest friend and her friend's husband in a boating accident twenty years earlier. The dead couple are Bea's parents. Bea of course solves the mystery and exposes the villain who murdered her parents. Bea and the Duke eventua Beatrice Hyde-Clare has a new mystery to solve in this entertaining series, and this one doesn't involve a dead body. So why is Bea reluctant to tell her fiance the Duke of Kesgrave that she is working on a case? Lady Abercrombie has asked Bea to investigate the death of her closest friend and her friend's husband in a boating accident twenty years earlier. The dead couple are Bea's parents. Bea of course solves the mystery and exposes the villain who murdered her parents. Bea and the Duke eventually work together with costumes and assumed personas employed to aid the investigation. The exposure and accusations occur at a social event in front of members of the Ton. Maybe this isn't the best look for a future duchess, especially one such as Bea who has never fit into that high society. This was my favorite mystery of the four that have been published. But I am disappointed that the author continues to spend so much time referencing people and events of previous books. It is not necessary and this practice slows the pace of the story and is quite boring. I don't care for most cozy mysteries, but this series has wonderful characters, decent plotting, and lots of sarcastic bantering between the two protagonists. They are just fun to read.

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