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Of Manners and Murder (Dear Miss Hermione Mystery #1) by Anastasia Hastings: A Book Review

Of Manners and Murder (Dear Miss Hermione Mystery #1)

Author: Anastasia Hastings

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Release Date: 2023

Pages: 304

Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: 1885: London, England. When Violet's Aunt Adelia decides to abscond with her newest paramour, she leaves behind her role as the most popular Agony Aunt in London, "Miss Hermione," in Violet's hands. 


And of course, the first letter Violet receives is full, not of prissy pondering, but of portent. Ivy Armstrong is in need of help and fears for her life. But when Violet visits the village where the letters were posted, she finds that Ivy is already dead.


She'll quickly discover that when you represent the best-loved Agony Aunt in Britain, both marauding husbands and murder are par for the course.


My Review: Adelia runs an advice column called Dear Miss Hermione. One day Adelia quits her role as Miss Hermione and leaves her advice column to her niece Violet. As Violet starts to take over her role as Miss Hermione, a rich woman named Ivy asks her for help. She suspects her husband is planning to kill her. When Violet decides to investigate, she learns that Ivy has committed suicide. As Violet digs deeper, she realizes instead of a suicide, Ivy may have been murdered. Can Violet find out who murdered Ivy and why?


Violet was an amazing heroine. She was very resourceful and determined. She was a very competent sleuth. I also liked Violet's compassion and willingness to help others. Therefore, Violet made an engaging woman to root for. 


The other main character is Violet’s sister, Sephora. I found her to be an insufferable character. She was very selfish and annoying. Therefore, I found her storyline to be very unnecessary. I wished that the novel focused solely on Violet and not Sephora. I still disliked her even after I finished the book.


Overall, this book is about secrets, sisterhood, and betrayal. I really liked all the characters and found them to be very compelling except for Sephora. There were a few times in which I thought the plot was a bit too far-fetched and unbelievable. It took me a while to get into because the story and the mystery both seemed silly. Yet, I had to let go of the story’s silliness in order for me to truly enjoy the novel. Thus, if you are willing to let go of common sense, this novel is very entertaining. I also found the romance to be unnecessary and should have been included in the next novel. Overall, it was a very engaging and fast-paced novel! I recommend this novel for The Lone Fox, Murder at Mallowen Hall, and Lady Helena Investigates!


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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