It's a maiden's miracle! Annabelle Quennell, daughter of a poor country parson, gets a chance at a London Season to snare a wealthy husband. But before she sets off, Mad Meg predicts trouble ahead! And it is nothing but woe that Annabelle finds. Godmother Lady Emmeline sponsors Annabelle's spree - and demands she wed the oafish Capt. MacDonald. But things get worse when Annabelle fears she is losing her heart to Lord Varleigh - elegant, well-pursed, but who is taken by another mistress! What a pickle Annabelle has gotten into, and it only gets more sour by the moment!
Blessed with beauty, Mrs. Manners has never bothered with the more practical (and to her, lesser) skills of grammar and spelling. So it is, in order to snag a second husband, namely the handsome Duke of Denbigh, she needs the help of Miss Verity Bascombe. Surely the modest chit would be honored to help write her love letters. Poor Verity! Her old school-girl friend remains as selfish as ever. But the lovely girl's gilded pen soon has the duke most intrigued by the poetic Mrs. Manners! But alas, what begins as a seemingly minor deception becomes a larger problem and Verity soon finds herself enamored of the handsome duke, wanting him all for herself!
The heroines of the Regency Candlelight Series set out to conquer London's glittering high society and marriage mart. These headstrong women cannot help but keep London society dangling on a string, but will they find a husband or lose themselves in the game?
'Romance fans are in for a treat' - Booklist
'[M. C. Beaton] is the best of the Regency writers' - Kirkus Reviews
The idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna is best known for the medieval church of St. Ethelred and its bells, which are the pride and glory of the whole community.
As the bell-ringers get ready for the visit of the dashing Bishop Peter Salver-Hinkley, the whole village is thrown into a frenzy. Meanwhile, Agatha convinces one of the bell-ringers, the charming lawyer Julian Brody, to hire her to investigate the mystery of the Bishop’s ex-fiancée: a local heiress, Jennifer Toynby, who went missing years ago and whose body was never found...
Meanwhile, the bodies in the village just keep on piling up: the corpse of Larry Jensen, a local policeman, is discovered in the crypt. Millicent Dupin, one of a pair of bell-ringing identical twins, is murdered near the church. And Terry Fletcher, a journalist and (briefly) Agatha’s lover, is found dead in her sitting room! Agatha widens her investigation and very soon her main suspect is the handsome Bishop himself. But could he really be behind this series of violent killings, or is it someone who wants to bring him—and his reputation—down?
A PURR-FECT CRIME IN THE COTSWOLDS
Former London PR agent, Agatha Raisin still hasn't adjusted to village life where the only prospect for a hot evening out is a meeting of the Ladies Society. And since her overtures toward James Lacey—the retired military man next door—have failed, Agatha jumps at the chance to visit the new vet, who's single and good-looking. Although Agatha's tabby hasn't a thing wrong with him, Hodge endures having a thermometer shoved up his bum in the name of romance. Unfortunately his sacrifice is all for naught when the vet is soon found dead next to a high-strung horse.
The police call the vet's demise a freak accident, but Agatha convinces the hard-to-get James Lacey, who's also bored in the Cotswolds, that playing amateur detective might be fun. Unfortunately, just like curiosity killed the cat, Agatha's inept snooping is soon a motivation for murder...