A Useful Woman

By Darcie Wilde,

Book cover of A Useful Woman

Book description

Inspired by the novels of Jane Austen, this new mystery series set in 19th-century London introduces the charming and resourceful Rosalind Thorne, a woman privy to the secrets of high society—including who among the ton is capable of murder...
 
The daughter of a baronet and minor heiress, Rosalind Thorne was…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked A Useful Woman as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Another first in series, this book, set in 19th century London, introduces Rosalind Thorne.

Nearly ruined after her father abandoned the family, she makes her living by managing the affairs of society women. There are probably more murders in these stories than among the ton in reality, but the mysteries keep things lively.

And the romance? Attractions to her old love, now a duke, and an attractive Bow Street investigator add deliciously to the intrigue. I have just read book 4 and need to find the next. Enjoy!

Rosalind Thorne’s life as a gently bred woman is upended when her father abandons the family. Finding herself penniless, Rosalind manages to use her connections and considerable skill to help wealthy society women solve their problems, for a discreet payment. In the course of helping a client who wants to become a patroness of Almack’s, the invitation-only social club, Rosalind discovers the body of an acquaintance in the ballroom. The patronesses of Almack’s want Rosalind to hush up the death, while the victim’s sister wants her to find her brother’s killer. Rosalind proves adept at putting the pieces of a…

I don’t enjoy many Regencies written by contemporary authors—too much 21st century finds its way into the story, for my taste—but I loved everything about this one! Because of a family scandal, Rosalind Thorne lost her standing in society, but she understands the complexities of social propriety and supports herself by advising and assisting influential families. There’s a neat murder (at the famous Almack’s, no less!) which Rosalind helps solve, but while I liked the puzzle, I loved the book because of Rosalind herself. She struggles believingly with having to work to survive in a world where “proper” women…

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