Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Flora Flowerdew and the mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds by Amanda McCabe, the first book in a new series of mysteries set in the Victorian London.
Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds
Flora Flowerdew has a secret. The former Florrie Gubbins, music hall dancer, is now Madame Flowerdew, one of London’s most renowned spirit mediums. But it’s actually her beloved Pomeranian dog, Chou-Chou, who can see the ghosts.
One of her most lucrative seances, for the wealthy Petrie family whose daughter is about to marry a handsome young duke, goes chaotically awry. The duke’s late, and very irate, grandfather demands Flora and his grandson Benedict find the long-missing family diamonds—even the search becomes littered with mayhem and murder! Can Flora discover the jewels before she loses her career, her sanity—and her heart?
Sparks fly as Flora, Benedict, and Chou-Chou pursue the truth of the diamonds’ disappearance in this lighthearted, cozy historical mystery set in foggy, gas-lit London
This was an unexpectedly sweet and entertaining read from one of my mother’s favourite authors Amanda McCabe!
Flora Flowerdew hasn’t had the easiest life- an unknown father, abandoned at an orphanage in East London, then less than glamourous career in a theatre, but she is a survivor and a sensible young woman determined to make her own living and stay safe. Her new career of a medium requires good listening skills, understanding people and …empathy. To be honest, Flora doesn’t believe in ghosts, so when an angry one ‘turns up’ in one her seances and starts rambling about lost diamonds and a family curse, she is intrigued, scared too- mostly of what rumours of her not being able ‘to control misbehaving spirits’ could do to her reputation of a well-respected medium. Flora is also curious about ‘the ghost’s’ grandson, the new duke of Everton. Sweet and kind-hearted Benedict is about to marry Maud Petrie- that is if the prospective bride’s rich family allow it. Maud’s parents were more than happy for their daughter to become a duchess, but she appears to be reluctant to proceed and not only because of an old curse attributed to the Everton Diamonds. Flora suspects there may be matters of heart that compliate this already curious case….Can Flora find the missing jewels and solve the family mystery? and should she be worried about letting her gourd and enjoying the company of Benedict who she likes more and more despite the huge difference in their position in life?
I was surprised at how engaging this historical cozy was with the biggest mystery being Flora herself. Bit by bit we get to know this fascinating, strong woman and learn how difficult living and earning independent means was for a woman in those times. Of course, she isn’t a real detective, but she has a good intuition, determination and, above all, common sense. She isn’t afraid or too bored to dig into dusty documents or interview unlikeable witnesses (grandma Everton, urgh!). Flora is a wonderful protagonist and I would love to see where this series is going to in future. There’s a whole cast of interesting secondary characters with their own peculiarieties and their own life stories- e.g. Flora’s maid Mary, her friend Evie and so on. And then there’s the duke and an undeniable attraction between him and Flora.
A quick and easy read for anyone who enjoys a clean romance/historical mystery. Looking forward to the next book in this new series!
Author Bio – Amanda McCabe wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books (set in a variety of time periods–Regency, Victorian, Tudor, Renaissance, and 1920s) have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in New Mexico with her lovely husband, along with far too many books and a spoiled rescue dog.
When not writing or reading, she loves yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. She also writes as Amanda Allen…
Please visit her at http://ammandamccabe.com
Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds & a Victorian necklace (Open to US Only)
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This sounds like a book that I would love, Toni. I am doing cozy mystery month (sort of) in September, so I shall look this one up.
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I hope you’ll like it, Carla. I’d love to read your thoughts on it!
Great review, Toni. 🙂 A dog seeing ghosts is a first for me. Will definitely look it up.
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Not to give anything away, but I’m still not sure what exactly was happening with the ghosts. I guess the second book will clarify it for me😅
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