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A Lark’s Tale (A Verity Lark Mystery #1)

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From the author of the BEATRICE HYDE-CLARE mysteries comes a new series with many fresh faces as well a few familiar old ones. Verity Lark knows everything. As the London Daily Gazette's popular gossip columnist, she is extremely adept at sneaking into houses, assuming disguises and overseeing a vast network of spies to ensure she stays abreast of the beau monde's comings an From the author of the BEATRICE HYDE-CLARE mysteries comes a new series with many fresh faces as well a few familiar old ones. Verity Lark knows everything. As the London Daily Gazette's popular gossip columnist, she is extremely adept at sneaking into houses, assuming disguises and overseeing a vast network of spies to ensure she stays abreast of the beau monde's comings and goings. If it sometimes seems as though she was hiding behind the settee during a particularly fierce quarrel between a husband and his wife, it's most likely because she was hiding behind the settee during their fierce quarrel. But nobody knows her. Writing under a pen name, Verity safeguards her anonymity via an elaborately constructed alter ego. Seemingly everywhere, Mr. Twaddle-Thum is in fact nowhere. He has never met with an informant or skulked in a dark alley. He simply does not exist. That is why she is so startled to discover he has recently been spotted at a variety of locations. A Twaddle-Sham is knocking about London and in such a ham-handed manner he is inciting people to murder. At least that's what Verity thinks is happening when she stumbles across a plot to kill him. Or her. Who is the real target? Well, see, that's just the problem because Verity can't actually say. For the first time in years, she isn't sure of anything.


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From the author of the BEATRICE HYDE-CLARE mysteries comes a new series with many fresh faces as well a few familiar old ones. Verity Lark knows everything. As the London Daily Gazette's popular gossip columnist, she is extremely adept at sneaking into houses, assuming disguises and overseeing a vast network of spies to ensure she stays abreast of the beau monde's comings an From the author of the BEATRICE HYDE-CLARE mysteries comes a new series with many fresh faces as well a few familiar old ones. Verity Lark knows everything. As the London Daily Gazette's popular gossip columnist, she is extremely adept at sneaking into houses, assuming disguises and overseeing a vast network of spies to ensure she stays abreast of the beau monde's comings and goings. If it sometimes seems as though she was hiding behind the settee during a particularly fierce quarrel between a husband and his wife, it's most likely because she was hiding behind the settee during their fierce quarrel. But nobody knows her. Writing under a pen name, Verity safeguards her anonymity via an elaborately constructed alter ego. Seemingly everywhere, Mr. Twaddle-Thum is in fact nowhere. He has never met with an informant or skulked in a dark alley. He simply does not exist. That is why she is so startled to discover he has recently been spotted at a variety of locations. A Twaddle-Sham is knocking about London and in such a ham-handed manner he is inciting people to murder. At least that's what Verity thinks is happening when she stumbles across a plot to kill him. Or her. Who is the real target? Well, see, that's just the problem because Verity can't actually say. For the first time in years, she isn't sure of anything.

30 review for A Lark’s Tale (A Verity Lark Mystery #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Persevere! Amusing yet startling! So I enjoyed Messina’s cosy Regency style mysteries, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. Lark’s Tale however is something else. At first I felt confounded by it. I couldn’t get a handle on the story. It was as slippery as an eel, much like Mr Twaddle-Thum. It did my head in. Verity Lark is a gossip columnist, a chameleon. Nobody knows who she is. She’s a master of disguise, so much so, even she forgets who she is. I certainly did. I think this is the first book I’ve rea Persevere! Amusing yet startling! So I enjoyed Messina’s cosy Regency style mysteries, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. Lark’s Tale however is something else. At first I felt confounded by it. I couldn’t get a handle on the story. It was as slippery as an eel, much like Mr Twaddle-Thum. It did my head in. Verity Lark is a gossip columnist, a chameleon. Nobody knows who she is. She’s a master of disguise, so much so, even she forgets who she is. I certainly did. I think this is the first book I’ve read in a long time where I’ve had to take notes Verity btw is the Duke of Kesgrave half sister by the courtesan La Reina (and that complex!) That’s not an alter ego, that’s fact. Let’s look for instance at some of Verity’s disguises, or maybe I should say Verity’s alter egos. *Mr Twaddle-Thum the gossip columnist ( most important) *Robert Lark another reporter, with a house and housekeeper—Verity herself. Writes occasional serious columns *Mr Quales an opportunistic landlord *The turnip rustic *Dudley Tiffin, scion of the H. Tiffin and Son dynasty: Official Bug Destroyers to His Majesty and the Royal Family. George Hogarth, goldsmith Archie Jones, excessively fond of onions Old Turnip Phantom You can see my confusion! Beatrice Hyde-Clare married the Duke of Kesgrave much to some members of the ton’s horror. Those who spread gossip about them were ejected from Almack's. Verity called one The Almack pariah. Kesgrave had his pound of flesh. Madelyn Norton was one of those wretches. “One moment her crisp little [entrée] card was tucked firmly in her grasp, the next it was cruelly torn from her fingers.” Banished, she’s determined to make her way back into the fold. That’s why she conceived of the idea of becoming Mr Twaddle-Thum and much to Verity’s disgust broadcast her lies high and wide. So Verity, unknown to her, is now a target. Cut back to the opening scene in Madelyn’s bedroom and it seems there are three people in her bedroom that night, (unknown to her) with guns. Needless to say after this Madelyn repairs to the country. Verity sees that the Duchess of Kesgrave is paying attention to a murder of a man at the Western Exchange emporium and yet the scene was reported as being attended by Constable Jones: the apprehension of Francis Altick for the murder of William Gorman and the attempted murder of Sebastian Holcroft. No mention of the duchess. Curious. Even more curious is the involvement of Holcroft the Holy. (That had been one of Mr. Twaddle-Thum’s coinages.) So we run from murder to mayhem, there’s also Lord Colson Hardwicke who seems to be one step (mostly) ahead of Verity. But wait! Is this the same degenerate drunk from another time? Hmm! A wild gallop around London sleuthing and more, and I loved every minute! I’m looking forward to more of verity and more of the mysterious Hardwicke. A BookWhisperer ARC via NetGalley. Many thanks to the author and publisher. Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    Enjoyed the introduction of a new member of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare universe in this new-series debut "A Lark's Tale," but got bogged down in the minutiae of too many villains and too many machinations. This book will be best appreciated by those already familiar with the Beatrice Hyde-Clare books by the same author, as Verity Lark is the unacknowledged half-sister to the Duke of Kesgrave. Growing up in vastly different circumstances, Verity lives by means of her wits as the undercover gossip col Enjoyed the introduction of a new member of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare universe in this new-series debut "A Lark's Tale," but got bogged down in the minutiae of too many villains and too many machinations. This book will be best appreciated by those already familiar with the Beatrice Hyde-Clare books by the same author, as Verity Lark is the unacknowledged half-sister to the Duke of Kesgrave. Growing up in vastly different circumstances, Verity lives by means of her wits as the undercover gossip columnist who is everywhere and nowhere, "Mr. Twaddle-Thum." But when she realizes that someone is masquerading as her/him, and that her own life is in danger, a nefarious plot starts to unravel, and she is determined to see it through to its conclusion. I enjoyed Verity as a character, as well as her long-suffering friends Freddie and Delphine. I also enjoyed the way she investigates the Kesgraves' investigations--it's a sort of outsider's view of their cases from the last few books. And I enjoyed her interactions with Mr. X, who starts out by forestalling her attempt to rescue a damsel in distress, and then challenges her at every turn with his inside information. What didn't I enjoy? The plot that Verity stumbles on, mostly in the latter half of the book, is too full of people and names and layers and higher-ups and lackeys, and I just stopped keeping track after a while and skimmed. The characterizations were fun as always, but I could wish for somewhat less complicated intrigue--or at least, with fewer names to keep track of. Thanks to NetGalley and The Book Whisperer for this digital review copy!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    A Lark's Tale is a welcome addition to the Beatrice Hyde-Clare universe. If you enjoy the adventures of Beatrice and her Duke, you are sure to enjoy the adventures of Verity Lark. Her tale runs parallel and in the background to several of Beatrice's adventures, so it would be best to be familiar with those stories before reading this one. My one complaint, is there are a lot of characters and it can get a little difficult to keep track of everyone. It seems someone new enters the picture every c A Lark's Tale is a welcome addition to the Beatrice Hyde-Clare universe. If you enjoy the adventures of Beatrice and her Duke, you are sure to enjoy the adventures of Verity Lark. Her tale runs parallel and in the background to several of Beatrice's adventures, so it would be best to be familiar with those stories before reading this one. My one complaint, is there are a lot of characters and it can get a little difficult to keep track of everyone. It seems someone new enters the picture every chapter. But overall it was an enjoyable read with a decent mystery. I look forward to reading more of Verity's escapades. Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I received a copy of this from NetGalley and this is my freely given opinion. Warning- if you have not read any of Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde Clare series, then this book may be a bit confusing for you. There are a lot of references and cross-overs to that series. I was not expecting how much of this story was interlinked to Beatrice, despite knowing this was about a minor character that has been referenced in the other series - the gossip columnist Mr. Twaddle-Thum. Verity Lark has a surprising I received a copy of this from NetGalley and this is my freely given opinion. Warning- if you have not read any of Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde Clare series, then this book may be a bit confusing for you. There are a lot of references and cross-overs to that series. I was not expecting how much of this story was interlinked to Beatrice, despite knowing this was about a minor character that has been referenced in the other series - the gossip columnist Mr. Twaddle-Thum. Verity Lark has a surprising link to the Duke and Duchess of Kesgrave, and as a leading gossip columnist and journalist, is very adept at disguising herself and investigating her subjects. Over the years, she has developed quite the network of informants and spies throughout the underbelly of London. Following the exploits of Beatrice has helped improve her profile as Twaddle Thum a lot and she recently came by more information about a case that Bea seemed to be involved in. But in this investigation, she and her cohorts are drawn into a murder intrigue, and it would appear that she... or at least one of her different aliases, is at the center of this particular intrigue. I have to admit, I love the Beatrice Hyde Clare series - I find them to be fun, lighthearted cozy mysteries and I like the dynamic of Beatrice and her Duke quite a bit. But I found that this initial story of Verity and her friends to be very dependent on some knowledge of the Beatrice Hyde Clare stories - there was a lot of background dependent on knowing some of them here. Many times the story seemed quite bogged down by too many details. Perhaps to lay out more background for those who did not read the other series? Maybe some of it is that, but there were a lot of details such as about the background and details of Verity's various disguises. Perhaps Verity is just as pedantic as the Duke about some things. I also found that I did not connect as much with Verity and friends as much. Perhaps because of their more working class background, they seemed a bit grimmer and less light hearted/humorous than Bea and her group? But then towards the end, when Verity seemed to open up and be more open to accepting help from others, I started to enjoy things a bit more. Oddly enough, despite all the references to Bea and the Duke, they actually do not make an appearance in this book. But considering the surprising link between Verity and the Kesgraves, I would anticipate the two worlds coming together at some point. 2.75 stars out of 5.

  5. 4 out of 5

    mykanos *~*spinebreaker*~*

    Here's the thing- Messina's writing has improved, yes. But I stopped reading the Beatrice series because it was nonstop infodumping about how Beatrice was spinstery and ugly and smart and kesgrave was hot and stupid for loving her. I wanted to give this new series a shot, but GUESS WHAT?? TEN PERCENT IN AND WE'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT BEATRICE AND KESGRAVE I know next to nothing about the new main character other than by virtue of her relationship with kesgrave, and the entire intro chapter was detai Here's the thing- Messina's writing has improved, yes. But I stopped reading the Beatrice series because it was nonstop infodumping about how Beatrice was spinstery and ugly and smart and kesgrave was hot and stupid for loving her. I wanted to give this new series a shot, but GUESS WHAT?? TEN PERCENT IN AND WE'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT BEATRICE AND KESGRAVE I know next to nothing about the new main character other than by virtue of her relationship with kesgrave, and the entire intro chapter was detailing things that I assume happened in the books I DIDN'T read in that series. I don't care. It's a new series- so build someone new. I don't mind cameos and nods to other books, but I'm real tired of spin-off series where we just rehash things with the old characters. It's a no from me. Readers of the previous series will be thrilled.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pat Dupuy

    With the exception of Veronica Speedwell, I don't think I've ever encountered a heroine with as much hubris and self-confidence as Verity Lark. If Plan A blows up in her face she always has a Plan B and a Plan C. She doesn't have enough backup plans though when a new rival/threat appears who is always one step ahead and sometimes waiting for her to catch up. A Lark's Tale looks to be the first in a fun new series. With the exception of Veronica Speedwell, I don't think I've ever encountered a heroine with as much hubris and self-confidence as Verity Lark. If Plan A blows up in her face she always has a Plan B and a Plan C. She doesn't have enough backup plans though when a new rival/threat appears who is always one step ahead and sometimes waiting for her to catch up. A Lark's Tale looks to be the first in a fun new series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kammie Mckeithen

    Looking forward to the next is the series First, I will say that I am a huge fan of Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. When I saw this spin off announced I was looking forward to it, though I was curious how it would play into the original series. I must admit that I forced myself through the first 50% of this book. I was beginning to worry that this would be similar to her Hoyden series, which I didn't enjoy at all. A Lark's Tale started off a bit slow, with a lot of enjoyable backstory and ch Looking forward to the next is the series First, I will say that I am a huge fan of Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. When I saw this spin off announced I was looking forward to it, though I was curious how it would play into the original series. I must admit that I forced myself through the first 50% of this book. I was beginning to worry that this would be similar to her Hoyden series, which I didn't enjoy at all. A Lark's Tale started off a bit slow, with a lot of enjoyable backstory and character exploration. It was very well written with comedy, a bit of action, and some insight into the Duke and Duchess of Kesgrave from Verity's POV. I simply could not get into the story for the longest time. I think it was a combination of slow start to the real story, the confusing time line, and, most importantly, Verity Lark herself. Both of my first complaints were solved later in the story, which concluded mostly satisfactorily, though it could've continued for a bit. My biggest complaint is that I didnt like the main character. Miss Verity Lark is the older half-sister of Damian Matlock, Duke of Kesgrave, the hero of the BHC series, and one of my favorite characters in any book ever. While he grew up with two parents (plus a murderous uncle), a full belly, and seemingly everything he could ever want, she was raised in a corrupt orphanage with little to eat, no parents, and little to call her own. She fought hard to get where she is and has seemingly always been able to get out of trouble and succeed in her plans. While, yes indeed, she is a strong female character with a wide range of skills, making her extremely confident, she also came across as over confident in herself. I noticed she would talk about how men thought too much of themselves, and then turn around and do the same thing. It seemed to me that she had a lot of inner resentment toward men, the world, and even her brother (who doesn't know of her existence). She would often make half baked, dangerous plans and refuse backup because only she was capable enough to pull it off, apparently. Though the reader was supposed to see an extremely intelligent, independent woman, I often found her a bit childish and silly. While I didn't hate her, and I definitely noticed improvement toward the end (thanks to some plans going awry and one very annoying [read: fascinating] gentleman), Verity fits very well into the category of female lead I've noticed a lot of recently and dislike greatly. Despite these complaints, the ending, which I will not spoil, definitely brought the story back for me. I'm still more excited about the upcoming BHC book, but I'm happy to add this series to my reading list. Messina took a mystery from the original series and delved further into it in this book, which I appreciated, as i thought the original could have expounded more on the consequences of the case. The clues, while hard to follow at times with all the moving parts, were well thought out. I enjoyed the chemistry between Hardwicke and Verity and look forward to a future working relationship (or more) from them. I enjoyed Freddie and Delphine as secondary characters and the only restraining force in Verity's life, seemingly. I did find Verity's many personas very interesting and clever. I'm also curious to see if Verity and Damian meet at some point, because the relationship (or lack thereof) between the two was definitely one of the things keeping me interested in the first half of the book. To summarize this wall of text, I wasn't sure about this book for the first, and definitely considered taking a break, I'm glad I finished it and will be looking forward to Verity Lark's next adventure. My main complaints included the delay in action, the confusing timeline (which I can see was somewhat neccessary), and the main female lead. After about half way through I found myself very interested in the story and less incline to dislike Verity. The introduction of Hardwicke and Holcroft as contrasting personalities helped a lot in the growth of her character. Im looking forward to the next book. I apologize for the length, but I could probably write a 20 page essay for these reviews.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nonie

    Verity is a journalist. She uses a male penname and rather enjoys dressing up as a man (men have a lot more freedom than women) to get information. In fact, she'd make a great spy. She's a master of disguises, loves the thrill of breaking into people's homes, and knows just what to say so that people will give her the information she wants. She has a whole cast of (male) characters complete with a costume, personality and backstory and she skillfully decides which to dress up as depending on the Verity is a journalist. She uses a male penname and rather enjoys dressing up as a man (men have a lot more freedom than women) to get information. In fact, she'd make a great spy. She's a master of disguises, loves the thrill of breaking into people's homes, and knows just what to say so that people will give her the information she wants. She has a whole cast of (male) characters complete with a costume, personality and backstory and she skillfully decides which to dress up as depending on the situation and what information she needs. If you're looking for a clean, historical mystery with a strong female lead, look no further. This book was a solid 3.5 stars. Verity was an interseting character to follow. This is, essentially, a murder mystery. And, still, it was a funny, sarcastic, witty read. Verity's logical thought process and witty humor didn't disappoint, even in the face of illegal activities, peril, and men pointing pistols at her. In her mind, finding out who exactly wants her dead, and why, is no different than sneaking into someone's home to be the first to know the menu for the party of the century. (Which means that the book isn't all that scary, though there is murder and violence in it). (view spoiler)[ Make no mistake, though. While Verity's a great detective in her own right, and just as good as any man would be, there's a character she meets halfway through who seems to be one step ahead of her in everything. So, by the end she's not completely on her own in solving the great murder mystery. (hide spoiler)] The opening scene was a nice touch. It's an interesting start to the book, though it leaves a lot of questions. And, when the book finally reaches the same scene, this time we understand what's happening, and what's at stake. I found the book a bit overwhelming at times. Maybe I would've enjoyed it more if I had previously read Lynn Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries. Or, if I was more familiar with London in the 19th century and all the important people and the lingo used back then. As it is, there were too many names and details for me to remember and they all blended together. In some scenes I felt a bit like I was being read a list of details, which made everything that much more confusing (though Verity managed to understand it all). And, it definitely didn't help that half the characters were made up and only existed in Verity's mind. Friday, April 17 11:03 a.m Also, while the dates in the beginning of each chapter were a nice idea, they didn't help much. No way was I remembering the date from the previous section to know how far back it was (or was it in the future?). There were too many other details to wrap my head around at the same time. The book is technically historical, with historical names and places and technology. However, the characters don't specifically feel historical. Verity and a few other women in the book, all seem to think it's normal to dress up as man. They don't act anything like the historical fiction woman I'm familiar with. Yeah, technically they were rebelling by dressing as men. But no man ever says anything about it. And, the women don't feel any anger or shame or any sort of emotion that I'd imagine think one would feel in such a situation. So, it was almost possible to imagine it wasn't happening so long ago, since in most situations the women dressed and acted similar to women we know nowadays. There's no romance in the book, either,(view spoiler)[ though there is potential for one in books to come (hide spoiler)] . I found this quite refreshing as it left room for mystery and investigations and danger that made the story as exciting as it is. Content to be aware of: The book is clean overall with while including mentions of a few more mature concepts. (view spoiler)[ There are mentions of bribery, gambling, mistresses, lots of murder none with any bloody details, threat of being shot, Verity goes to Newgate and a few other prisons, which horrify her. We're told Verity feels men treat all women as potential bedmates. Which is why, I believe, most of the book she's dressed as a man. Verity follows a man who goes up a staircase leading to a brothel. She waits for him downstairs. Verity's mother was some unknown man's mistress when she had Verity, and left her at an orphanage. Then, she became pregnant with a Duke's child, and he married her. Verity often thinks how interesting it is that her half-brother has such a different life than her. Verity grows up in an orphanage with a horrible woman, Miss Wraithe, who sells the girls as brides and has the boys work as slaves. Somehow, Verity manages to get out of the future awaiting her, turns herself into a success story, and takes revenge on Miss Wraithe. (I think she had her put in prison.) Verity, at nine knew more than two dozen vulgarities to describe various parts of the human body, both male and female. In the first chapter Verity calls Miss Wraithe by one of them. And, Verity's penname, Twaddle-Thum, becomes the nickname for Miss Wraithe, as a result of that conversation. (hide spoiler)] Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    One Sentence Audio Critic

    A Lark's Tale (330 pages) is the beginning of a Regency cozy mystery series by Lynn Messina, released September 6, 2022, introducing gossip columnist sleuth Verity Lark. This mystery series is loosely related to author Messina's other Regency cozy mystery series, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Series and Love Takes Root. This is not a Regency historic romance, with a side mystery, since there is no romance. Verity Lark is the unacknowledged half-sister to the Duke of Kesgrave, characters from the Beatri A Lark's Tale (330 pages) is the beginning of a Regency cozy mystery series by Lynn Messina, released September 6, 2022, introducing gossip columnist sleuth Verity Lark. This mystery series is loosely related to author Messina's other Regency cozy mystery series, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Series and Love Takes Root. This is not a Regency historic romance, with a side mystery, since there is no romance. Verity Lark is the unacknowledged half-sister to the Duke of Kesgrave, characters from the Beatrice Hyde-Clare books, but has grown up in vastly different circumstances. If this book was made into a movie, producers would seek a star that had always wanted to play 20 characters, using various disguises, in one film. This is because Verity has many persona and sports many disguises costunes in this story The plot begins with multiple villans breaking into Verity's bedroom intent to kill her. People end up dead, just not Verity. But, the key mystery for investigation is who claiming to be Mr. Twaddle-Thum, the gossip columnist for the London Daily Gazette. Verity know it is impersonation because Twaddle-Thum is not a real person, just per pen name. Thus begins an investigation with burglary, murder, chases and lots of disguises. is the beginning of a Regency cozy mystery series by Lynn Messina, released September 6, 2022, introducing gossip columnist sleuth Verity Lark. This mystery series appears to be loosely related to author Messina's other Regency cozy mystery series, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Series and Love Takes Root. Verity Lark is the unacknowledged half-sister to the Duke of Kesgrave, characters from the Beatrice Hyde-Clare books, but has grown up in vastly different circumstances. If thus book was made into a movie, producers would seek a star that had always wanted to play 20 characters, using various disguises, in one film. This is because Verity has many persona in this story The plot begins with multiple villas breaking into Verity's bedroom intent to kill her. People end up dead, just not Verity. But, the key mystery for investigation is who claiming to be Mr. Twaddle-Thum, the gossip columnist for the London Daily Gazette. Verity know it is impersonation because Twaddle-Thum is not a real person, just per pen name. Thus begins an investigation with burglary, murder, chases and lots of disguises.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori Sinsel Harris

    Verity Lark is a master of disguise, (most of them male with a few female characters thrown in for safety's sake), she has one that will fit almost any occasion she encounters as she gathers all the juicy gossip about the beau monde's newest scandals. Verity writes the titillating gossip column for the London Daily Gazette, run by her longtime friend Freddie under the pen name Mr. Twaddle-thum exposing some of societies most elite blunders. Mr. Twaddle-thum seems to gather the most intimate deta Verity Lark is a master of disguise, (most of them male with a few female characters thrown in for safety's sake), she has one that will fit almost any occasion she encounters as she gathers all the juicy gossip about the beau monde's newest scandals. Verity writes the titillating gossip column for the London Daily Gazette, run by her longtime friend Freddie under the pen name Mr. Twaddle-thum exposing some of societies most elite blunders. Mr. Twaddle-thum seems to gather the most intimate details, almost as if he is in the room with the characters he writes about, he truly seems to be everywhere, but as the book's description tells us, Mr. Twaddle-thum is really nowhere, except in Verity Lark's imagination. No one has ever met him, not even Verity's vast network of spies she has built up throughout London, noone has ever seen Twaddle-thum, that is until now! Verity is totally blindsided when she discovers there have been recent sightings of Twaddle, numerous sightings and whoever is posing as Twaddle is making no effort to be secretive about their identity, they behave as though trying to draw attention to Twaddle not conceal his identity. Not only does this make Verity furious, but it seems that the imposter has caught the attention of the wrong people and now someone is out to murder Mr. Twaddle-thum, Verity? Now she must solve the puzzle of who the imposter is, why they are pretending to be Twaddle (Verity) and who wants to kill Twaddle (Verity)? I enjoyed this regency mystery spin-off from the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series though I can see how some may be a little lost as there are so many characters both old and new throughout the story that it does become confusing trying to keep track of everyone and so many details it is difficult to keep it all sorted.. This was the only problem I had with this book. I enjoyed the characters and their quirky personalities and the overall plot is good, this is a nice, clean regency mystery that entertains till the end. Thank you to The Book Whisperer and Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I was intrigued going into this, and I was surprised by the book as a whole. It got off to a strong start: the prologue was a really good, fun way to start this story. Firstly, I want to start by saying I thought this has a very clever, very fun concept. Lynn Messina’s recent books have really played with some of the familiar concepts of the regency cosy, and this is a really solid example of that. Verity was a very refreshing heroine, particularly for a Lynn Messina novel. She had a lot of the h I was intrigued going into this, and I was surprised by the book as a whole. It got off to a strong start: the prologue was a really good, fun way to start this story. Firstly, I want to start by saying I thought this has a very clever, very fun concept. Lynn Messina’s recent books have really played with some of the familiar concepts of the regency cosy, and this is a really solid example of that. Verity was a very refreshing heroine, particularly for a Lynn Messina novel. She had a lot of the hallmarks of her other heroines: Beatrice and Catherine’s cleverness, Emma’s boldness, Lavinia and Agatha’s unconventionality. But she also felt very different. There was a competence and efficiency to her and her actions that I found very refreshing. She was very capable: I liked that it was hard for other characters to outwit her, that she was worldly enough to understand the darker side of life. She was also very entertaining. I liked all of her alter-egos and how well they fit the story; it was a nice touch. Hardwicke was a good foil to her. Like with Verity, I could see glimpses of other love interests from Messina’s books, but I liked the hints of his hardness, his cynicism. I liked that he had a personal grudge against Verity and I’m intrigued to see how this will play out in subsequent novels. That said - I did struggle with the mystery at the heart of this book. It was undoubtedly very clever, but I thought it got a bit too complicated. I found it hard to follow towards the end and it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I also felt like it relied too much on having read other books by Messina - and as someone who has read all of her historical novels, I still found it a little hard to follow at points. Despite that it was still an enjoyable book. This was a solid start to a new series with some really interesting ideas, and I’m really curious to see where Messina is going to take these characters going forwards. Content Notes: Warnings: (view spoiler)[Violence, gun violence, murder, death, death of a parent (in past). (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Boyle-Taylor

    A Lark’s Tale is a regency cozy, with, as that usually entails, an anonymous social columnist casting aspersions on the gentry. That leads to him/her getting innocently embroiled in all sorts of evil doing, and is our trusty detective solving the case. This novel leaves me with mixed thoughts about its effectiveness. I am new to Messina’s work, and may have been more enthusiastic if I were familiar with her plotting and style, but as it was the opening threw me right off, not totally convinced o A Lark’s Tale is a regency cozy, with, as that usually entails, an anonymous social columnist casting aspersions on the gentry. That leads to him/her getting innocently embroiled in all sorts of evil doing, and is our trusty detective solving the case. This novel leaves me with mixed thoughts about its effectiveness. I am new to Messina’s work, and may have been more enthusiastic if I were familiar with her plotting and style, but as it was the opening threw me right off, not totally convinced of the sequence of events as feasible, nor liking a secondary character being presented as the immediate focus. Once presented with Verity Lark (a wonderful name), I warmed to the book; however, Verity herself was a bit unbelievable in her various disguises, and from the cover, very different in manner and appearance than one might visualize. Was she gawky and gaunt or was she solid enough to carry off the broad shouldered burly disguises she sometimes uses? Padding alone would not suffice. As a woman in disguise, would not her singular height set her aside and recognizable? If it takes two hours to makeup as Old Turnip, how can she just wipe it off and act as a young man so quickly? I know I should suspend my disbelief and go along for the ride, but it is just a small quibble. The larger problem I had was how the narrative dissolved into prattle much of the time. When Messina is on top of it, I stay glued to the page and enjoy the back and forth of untangling the mystery, but about a quarter of this could have been cut and nothing of plot lost. It is a bit too convoluted. Nice ending with Hardwicke and Verity, though. I was rooting for them. Freddie and Delphine, Verity’s sidekicks, were well drawn and I would have liked even more of them in this novel, My rating is 2.5 but will round it up to three stars, for I think Messina fans will enjoy it. It’s a very enthusiastic start of a new series for the writer, and I wish her well with it. Thanks to NetGalley and The Book Whisperer for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Purple Lorikeet

    Verity Lark's alter ego, Mr. Twaddle Thum, the gossip columnist, is being impersonated around town and that's a problem. Much of Verity's time is spent in various disguises to find out what's really going on among the ton. But it seems this imposter is in danger and it's her duty to keep that person safe, even if they have stolen her name. And so Verity embarks on a mystery-solving adventure in the same universe as the Beatrice Hyde Clare mysteries. In fact, Beatrice Hyde-Clare is one of Mr. Twa Verity Lark's alter ego, Mr. Twaddle Thum, the gossip columnist, is being impersonated around town and that's a problem. Much of Verity's time is spent in various disguises to find out what's really going on among the ton. But it seems this imposter is in danger and it's her duty to keep that person safe, even if they have stolen her name. And so Verity embarks on a mystery-solving adventure in the same universe as the Beatrice Hyde Clare mysteries. In fact, Beatrice Hyde-Clare is one of Mr. Twaddle Thum's favourite targets, not to mention Verity's connection with the duke that Beatrice is married to. I started reading this just after finishing the most recent Beatrice Hyde-Clare mystery and the side characters from that series form a more central part of this book. I find they fit in well and there's some overlap but also an interesting point of view when having a different sleuth from the same universe solving the case. For the most part, I really enjoyed this as much as the other series. I am curious to learn more, especially with regard to Verity's connection to the duke. I imagine, though, that a newcomer to this world might find it a bit overwhelming to have references to the other series flooding the story. One thing I like is that despite Verity's ingenuity in disguise and sneaking about, she is not beyond notice in her activity. Sometimes these books show the detective as going through the motions without failure when the reality is usually very different. In any case, Verity and company are all just as interesting as Beatrice and the Duke of Kesgrave and company. I am curious as to the directions these books will take. Does this mean an end to the other series or will there be co-occurring stories. And will the two sleuths come together at some point in the future. So many questions! Overall, I give this 3.5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and The Book Whisperer for providing an advanced reader copy with no obligation. I have written this review voluntarily.

  14. 4 out of 5

    HappyBookWorm2020

    This is the first book in a spin-off of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries. I had not read any of those books and recommend reading at least a few of them before tackling this one as it is definitely not a standalone book. The plot is complex with many characters, and I kept having to look back in the book and try to figure out what was happening and who the characters were. The prologue in particular was very confusing without some previous background. I thought the book would have benefitted fr This is the first book in a spin-off of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries. I had not read any of those books and recommend reading at least a few of them before tackling this one as it is definitely not a standalone book. The plot is complex with many characters, and I kept having to look back in the book and try to figure out what was happening and who the characters were. The prologue in particular was very confusing without some previous background. I thought the book would have benefitted from a short introduction before the prologue to introduce the characters and their relationships and to set the stage for the story. This book is set sometime after 1815 since Waterloo was mentioned. Beatrice from the previous series has married the Duke of Kesgrave. The main character in this book is Verity Lark, half-sister to the Duke, something that he doesn't know. They have the same mother but had very different upbringings. Verity grew up in an orphanage similar to the one that Jane Eyre grew up in - with little food or heat, no care or affection, and a lot of punishment. As an adult, Verity works (disguised as a man) as a gossip columnist and publishes under the name of Mr. Twaddle-Thum, a version of the name she created for the awful woman at the orphanage. She discovers that someone has been clumsily impersonating her Twaddle-Thum persona, and has drawn the attention of a dangerous man. She is in danger, and so is the remarkably silly woman who impersonated her. The book opens when Verity has hidden in the woman's bedroom to foil an attack on her. I really liked Verity, who would disguise herself as a man and stroll into a business, take a chair and pretend to work while spying. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher Potatoworks Press through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christy H

    Who is Verity Lark? Orphan, spinster, Robert Lark or, indeed, Mr. Twaddle-Thum and general busy body? She is all of them and none. 'A Lark's Tale' is a light-hearted Regency murder mystery that keeps unfurling at a frenetic pace. Orphaned at a young age, Verity Lark has climbed out of waifdom to succeed as a journalist, writing under the pseudonym Robert Lark. However, bowing to her natural inclination for drama and being sly, Verity adds a new persona to her repertoire - Mr. Twaddle-Thum. The ne Who is Verity Lark? Orphan, spinster, Robert Lark or, indeed, Mr. Twaddle-Thum and general busy body? She is all of them and none. 'A Lark's Tale' is a light-hearted Regency murder mystery that keeps unfurling at a frenetic pace. Orphaned at a young age, Verity Lark has climbed out of waifdom to succeed as a journalist, writing under the pseudonym Robert Lark. However, bowing to her natural inclination for drama and being sly, Verity adds a new persona to her repertoire - Mr. Twaddle-Thum. The never sighted Mr. Twaddle-Thum divulges, twice-a-week, the beau monde's foibles and absurdities. Not to offend, mind you, but rather to keep them honest in their ridiculousness. But the fun has halted. Members of Quality are being mysteriously knocked off. Mr. Twaddle-Thum is confounded, and instead of Twaddling happily, Verity becomes a target. 'Brace yourself, darlings, for things are about to become quite grim'. 'A Lark's Tale' is a well-written Regency mystery with such an abundance of characters, the story itself is sometimes the mystery. A list of characters, at the beginning of the story, would have been most welcome; especially as many characters have multiple names: their real name, titled name, and Twaddle name. Further, the book not only focuses on the primary mystery but on the sleuthing of stories gone by. Layer upon Layer to digest. Verity Lark and her friends Delphine and Freddie are very likable and the language and pace of the story are enjoyable in their essence - there's just a lot to unpack.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Many thanks to NetGalley and Potatoworks Press for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review A Lark’s Tale. All opinions and comments are my own. This is a strange book. It spends an inordinate amount of time recounting the cases in the author’s other series featuring Beatrice Hyde-Clare, AKA the Duchess of Kesgrave. For this we have the noted columnist, Mr. Twaddle-Thum, who has made it “his” life’s mission. Really, he’s obsessed. Well, Verity Lark is actual Mr. T-T, and she’s a “s Many thanks to NetGalley and Potatoworks Press for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review A Lark’s Tale. All opinions and comments are my own. This is a strange book. It spends an inordinate amount of time recounting the cases in the author’s other series featuring Beatrice Hyde-Clare, AKA the Duchess of Kesgrave. For this we have the noted columnist, Mr. Twaddle-Thum, who has made it “his” life’s mission. Really, he’s obsessed. Well, Verity Lark is actual Mr. T-T, and she’s a “she,” and that’s our heroine, who uses a vast army of informers and dressing up in men’s clothing to get her information, which is considerable. Finally, a long way in, we get to the crux of the matter -- someone has been impersonating Mr. T-T (because being out of society is a fate worse than death, doncha know.) Finally, we get more information about that prologue. AND there’s someone else out to kill our “gossipy prattler.” Huzzah, a new plot! But, there’s more -- there’s actually something behind all this, besides what the Duchess is up to. Honestly, there is. A crime that involves the highest level of society and government. Verity uncovers this, with help from a new confidant. And all’s right with the world. By then I didn’t much care. Oh, A Lark’s Tale is interesting enough, with sparking dialog and a lot of flitting around in men’s clothing and thumbing one’s nose at societal conventions. But not enough to want to make me read another in the series, I’m afraid.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mariama Thorlu-Bangura

    When I was granted the chance to read this advanced reader copy, I was happy, as I requested it based on a short but glowing review by Eloisa James. The plot seemed interesting: 19th century woman forced to readjust her path in life, actually working (as a gossip writer) because her place in society was being denied her. Naturally, she adopts a pseudonym (male), but somehow is found out and it seems her life is in danger as a result. All the makings of a good story. Then I read the prologue and When I was granted the chance to read this advanced reader copy, I was happy, as I requested it based on a short but glowing review by Eloisa James. The plot seemed interesting: 19th century woman forced to readjust her path in life, actually working (as a gossip writer) because her place in society was being denied her. Naturally, she adopts a pseudonym (male), but somehow is found out and it seems her life is in danger as a result. All the makings of a good story. Then I read the prologue and found it to be ridiculous. So ridiculous I decided not to read the rest of the book. I also did not realize that there is a whole other series the author had written, and that the main character in this book is part of the previous series. That would have only confused me, because I wouldn't know who those characters were when they pop up. This is the downside of reading something by an author that is new to you: you can't really understand a current work if the character is a spin off from a previous series. It's never good to start in the middle. I wish I had found the prologue amusing rather than nonsensical. But that was not the case. I'm sure others found that to be an interesting lead-in, but not me. I cannot say that one shouldn't read this book. I'll only say that it is necessary to read the author's previous series, so that you know who's who when they pop up in this book. Thanks to NetGalley for this advanced copy, which I voluntarily read and reviewed.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I thoroughly enjoyed this new book by Lynn Messina. While it could be read as a standalone, I think the reading experience is enhanced if one has read Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare mysteries series. There is overlap in characters (including Twaddle-Thum, which, btw, is one of my favourite made-up names EVER, also, verb-ing it to 'twaddling' was a delight) and references to Beatrice's cases. Reading the other books first not only provides some context but also will help readers to truly appreciat I thoroughly enjoyed this new book by Lynn Messina. While it could be read as a standalone, I think the reading experience is enhanced if one has read Messina's Beatrice Hyde-Clare mysteries series. There is overlap in characters (including Twaddle-Thum, which, btw, is one of my favourite made-up names EVER, also, verb-ing it to 'twaddling' was a delight) and references to Beatrice's cases. Reading the other books first not only provides some context but also will help readers to truly appreciate the level of detail in the books and I can only imagine the effort it took to ensure that this book, A Lark's Tale, matches up perfectly with the Beatrice Hyde-Clare books as this one takes place over the span of a few of the BHC books. There were times when the details became a bit overwhelming and I struggled to keep track of what was happening so I would have to go back and re-read parts, which is why I'm not giving it 5 stars. The book ending definitely sets up for a follow-up, which I will happily read. I hope that down the road, we get a scene in which Verity meets her not-so long-lost half-brother because I imagine that could be a very tense situation, given the favourite focus of Verity's aka Twaddle-Thum's columns. :) Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of the book; all opinions are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ferne

    Verity Lark is a gossip columnist for the London Daily Gazette. The appeal of Verity is not only her scintillating wit but the manner of her investigations for new material for her column. Verity uses a diverse array of female and male disguises to conduct investigations based on submissions from her network of spies that are well compensated for their reporting. She is adept at changing plans spontaneously during her fieldwork and her column is penned under the pseudonym of Mr. Twaddle-Thum. I a Verity Lark is a gossip columnist for the London Daily Gazette. The appeal of Verity is not only her scintillating wit but the manner of her investigations for new material for her column. Verity uses a diverse array of female and male disguises to conduct investigations based on submissions from her network of spies that are well compensated for their reporting. She is adept at changing plans spontaneously during her fieldwork and her column is penned under the pseudonym of Mr. Twaddle-Thum. I appreciate complexities in an investigation and can enjoy a large cast of characters. However, this large cast of characters was sometimes difficult to track as within the abundance of red herrings and twists the flow is interrupted by Verity’s dissection of her interrogations in the very midst of them. Her thoughtful analysis frequently lingered over multiple paragraphs. To this end, as Verity is thinking of the next steps I found it easy to drift from the dialogue due to the interruptions of analysis. As I enjoyed the dynamics with Delphine and Freddie I’ll give a future mystery in the series another try. My sincere thanks to Lynn Messina, and The Book Whisperer for my complimentary digital copy of this title, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. #ALarksTale #NetGalley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kasey (KaseyAndTheBooks) Decker

    “But did she accept the massive injustice? Did she take to her bed in a fit of despair? Well, briefly, yes, because she was only human.” I have received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. okay, i’m completely hooked on anything that has the word “cozy” attached to it. i added this to my netgalley shelf because it was an automatic approval (probably because it comes out in like two weeks or so) but it has all the hallmarks of something i’ll love: regency era london, murder m “But did she accept the massive injustice? Did she take to her bed in a fit of despair? Well, briefly, yes, because she was only human.” I have received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. okay, i’m completely hooked on anything that has the word “cozy” attached to it. i added this to my netgalley shelf because it was an automatic approval (probably because it comes out in like two weeks or so) but it has all the hallmarks of something i’ll love: regency era london, murder mystery, unreasonable detective work, sequels to come, and if i’m assuming correctly, rivals to begrudging teammates to lovers. that’s just a guess though. this was fun, i enjoyed meeting the characters and then learning that a bunch of them exist in other series out there (specifically what appears to be a female poirot, so i’ll be diving into that for sure) since it is an ARC, i do have one bit about a type of prose that bothered me only slightly, and it was that every so often, presumably when our author was tired of writing dialogue she would randomly summarize a few characters lines. it didn’t bother me enough to dock it a star, but apparently enough to mention it here 😂

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I hate to write negative reviews for any book, but I must do so for A Lark’s Tale by Lynn Messina. From the book’s description, I was expecting a rousing tale with humor mixed with the stealth of a sneak. From the beginning of the book, I felt that I was missing something. Perhaps another book preceded this one and I should have read it first. However, I found that was not the case. I was confused from the first page and could not distinguish the characters from each other. The only idea that I t I hate to write negative reviews for any book, but I must do so for A Lark’s Tale by Lynn Messina. From the book’s description, I was expecting a rousing tale with humor mixed with the stealth of a sneak. From the beginning of the book, I felt that I was missing something. Perhaps another book preceded this one and I should have read it first. However, I found that was not the case. I was confused from the first page and could not distinguish the characters from each other. The only idea that I took from the book is that Verity Lane used the name of Mr. Twaddle-Thum to write a gossip column. She used various and I should say illegal breaking-and-entering to find salacious gossip to share with the readers of the newspaper. I was never at any time comfortable reading this novel and only finished it because I needed to review it. I’m sorry that I cannot recommend this book unless the reader has a mind like the writer. I was unable to make heads or tails of the whole thing. I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Avril Hemingway

    How lovely to meet another character from the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series making this a new series in that universe. This is a convoluted mystery with lots of characters both real and invented that took a bit of getting my head around.. However it soon devolves into Messina's usual murder and mayhem still with red herring's galore. I enjoyed the way Verity looks into the Kesgraves' investigations giving us another view of those investigations however this is helped by me having read those books a How lovely to meet another character from the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series making this a new series in that universe. This is a convoluted mystery with lots of characters both real and invented that took a bit of getting my head around.. However it soon devolves into Messina's usual murder and mayhem still with red herring's galore. I enjoyed the way Verity looks into the Kesgraves' investigations giving us another view of those investigations however this is helped by me having read those books already or it might be confusing. However the characterizations were fun as always with Verity and her side kicks Freddie and Delphine having good banter but the plot was a bit convoluted and I did loose track along the way. Hopefully this is just because it's a new series and will become less muddled as the series progresses. I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Set in the Regency era in London. A Lark's Tale is charming, witty, clever, cunning and just plain fun. Verity was orphaned and as such has an incredible understanding and compassion for those who are less fortunate. She is a bright gossip columnist and writes under the name of Robert Lark which covers a multitude of problems. Often masquerading as a male in a male-dominated society, Verity inveigles and spies using disguises and is above nothing, even bordering on illegal, to uncover the truth. Set in the Regency era in London. A Lark's Tale is charming, witty, clever, cunning and just plain fun. Verity was orphaned and as such has an incredible understanding and compassion for those who are less fortunate. She is a bright gossip columnist and writes under the name of Robert Lark which covers a multitude of problems. Often masquerading as a male in a male-dominated society, Verity inveigles and spies using disguises and is above nothing, even bordering on illegal, to uncover the truth. Murder does not daunt her indominable spirit. In fact, she thrives on detecting! Mr. Twaddle-Thum is introduced and throws almost everyone into a tailspin. Twists and turns and a satisfying ending ensue. My favourite aspects are the historical details such as dress as well as the characters, especially Verity and her friends Delphine and Freddie. The writing is energetic and compelling. The only drawback for me is the introduction of too many characters to keep track of. But after I firmly got them in order it was fine. Historical Fiction readers who prefer murder and mayhem in a clean escapist read, do pick this up. My sincere thank you to The Book Whisperer and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this delightful book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Jones

    A fun story This is a fun book but sometimes a little confusing as characters names come fast with little information about them given. The story itself is engaging about a woman reporter, both serious and gossip column, needs to find and stop someone impersonating her gossip column pseudonym, Mr. Twaddle-Thum. But what starts as discovering an impersonator soon turns into a threat to Mr. Twaddle-Thum or the person behind him. As her search, using multiple alternate identities progresses, she fi A fun story This is a fun book but sometimes a little confusing as characters names come fast with little information about them given. The story itself is engaging about a woman reporter, both serious and gossip column, needs to find and stop someone impersonating her gossip column pseudonym, Mr. Twaddle-Thum. But what starts as discovering an impersonator soon turns into a threat to Mr. Twaddle-Thum or the person behind him. As her search, using multiple alternate identities progresses, she finds herself constantly meeting up with Colson Hardwicke, a subject of Twaddle-Thum’s column. When she discovers who is impersonating Twaddle-Thum, instead of clearing things up it becomes even more critical to discover who is determined to get rid of Twaddle-Thum and why? Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy. This is my review and all thoughts are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kiri Lee

    Thank you NetGalley for the eARC! I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through 19th century London- think Dickens meets Sherlock Holmes meets Miss Fisher meets Bridgerton- a classic murder mystery ‘whodunnit’ with a great amount of humour sandwiched in! Things I loved: - Verity is a courageous, intelligent and witty heroine- we live a strong FMC! - The side characters of Delphine and Freddie were stellar. - There is a great dynamic between Verity and Hardwicke that will hopefully be explored in further wo Thank you NetGalley for the eARC! I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through 19th century London- think Dickens meets Sherlock Holmes meets Miss Fisher meets Bridgerton- a classic murder mystery ‘whodunnit’ with a great amount of humour sandwiched in! Things I loved: - Verity is a courageous, intelligent and witty heroine- we live a strong FMC! - The side characters of Delphine and Freddie were stellar. - There is a great dynamic between Verity and Hardwicke that will hopefully be explored in further works! Things to think about: - At times the plot moved slowly and was a little convoluted. In general, a great read, and I look forward to more!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lori D

    An exciting new mystery series that will pull you in and leave you with wanting more!! After having read /listened to, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series, and loved every word, I was glad to learn that Verity was the half sister of Kesgrave... a lot to that you will just have to find out! This was no simple mystery! Verity is like a chameleon, changing her persona, disguise and career as needed... trying to keep up with her was challenging but well worth the concentration. Humor, suspense and a plethor An exciting new mystery series that will pull you in and leave you with wanting more!! After having read /listened to, the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series, and loved every word, I was glad to learn that Verity was the half sister of Kesgrave... a lot to that you will just have to find out! This was no simple mystery! Verity is like a chameleon, changing her persona, disguise and career as needed... trying to keep up with her was challenging but well worth the concentration. Humor, suspense and a plethora of characters will have you only wanting more of this fun series! PS I hope it is also put on audible!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Peters

    I really enjoyed this regency era cozy mystery. Verity Lark is such an amusing character. She'll do anything to get her story. Being a woman in regency times though can be a challenge. You're never quite sure what she is going to uncover and discover about the various members of the ton while reporting as Mr. Twaddle-Thum. She literally does anything she can to get her story to include dressing up as various different men throughout the story. I couldn't stop reading as I really couldn't wait to I really enjoyed this regency era cozy mystery. Verity Lark is such an amusing character. She'll do anything to get her story. Being a woman in regency times though can be a challenge. You're never quite sure what she is going to uncover and discover about the various members of the ton while reporting as Mr. Twaddle-Thum. She literally does anything she can to get her story to include dressing up as various different men throughout the story. I couldn't stop reading as I really couldn't wait to see what she would do next. Verity Lark and her group of who knows the truth about Mr. Twaddle-Thum is so amusing and I can't wait for book 2

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elayne

    I was given this as an Arc by the author and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really want to a. Find out who Holbrooke will court, and b. What Hardwicke wants. Next novel please... Our heroine is delightful if extremely rash in her behaviour, very uncaring about danger and so very refreshing. One must assume that Freddie pays her very well considering her expenses. A well written novel and as an Arc I can forgive a couple of proofing errors. Good style and grammar and much in thecstyle of the stories you I was given this as an Arc by the author and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really want to a. Find out who Holbrooke will court, and b. What Hardwicke wants. Next novel please... Our heroine is delightful if extremely rash in her behaviour, very uncaring about danger and so very refreshing. One must assume that Freddie pays her very well considering her expenses. A well written novel and as an Arc I can forgive a couple of proofing errors. Good style and grammar and much in thecstyle of the stories you read as a pre teen that promise adventure and drtective work.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandi aka Maudley

    This is a complicated, amusing novel of the machinations of Mister Twaddle-Thum, a gossip-writer and investigator, one of the aliases of Miss Verity Lark. She/he is intrepid, brave, clever, and sometimes foolish, but she gets her/his story correct. A Lark's Tale is a very enjoyable book. I can't wait to see what the next volume will bring. I received this advanced copy and freely offer my review. This is a complicated, amusing novel of the machinations of Mister Twaddle-Thum, a gossip-writer and investigator, one of the aliases of Miss Verity Lark. She/he is intrepid, brave, clever, and sometimes foolish, but she gets her/his story correct. A Lark's Tale is a very enjoyable book. I can't wait to see what the next volume will bring. I received this advanced copy and freely offer my review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    TrixieB

    This was DELIGHTFUL!!! (But if you want my advice, reread Flora's book before you read it. I did not so I got a little lost with the names. It didn't affect the enjoyment but I was a bit confused at times. I'm not great with names and there are a lot in here.) The mystery here is top notch. The characters. The pacing. A truly enjoyable evening. Mr. Holcroft is in here. He even has a personality for a change. I'm still Team Nuneaton though!! Everyone is White cis-het. This was DELIGHTFUL!!! (But if you want my advice, reread Flora's book before you read it. I did not so I got a little lost with the names. It didn't affect the enjoyment but I was a bit confused at times. I'm not great with names and there are a lot in here.) The mystery here is top notch. The characters. The pacing. A truly enjoyable evening. Mr. Holcroft is in here. He even has a personality for a change. I'm still Team Nuneaton though!! Everyone is White cis-het.

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