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Deadly Engagement (Alec Halsey Mystery #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  495 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Spring 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London to the shocking news his estranged brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but is engaged to the woman Alec hoped to marry. The dead man’s mother wants Alec to investigate, so he reluctantly attends a weekend house party celebrating the engagement. Houseguests get more than they bargai ...more
Paperback, second, 326 pages
Published March 2nd 2015 by Sprigleaf (first published February 1st 2003)
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Written October 11, 2015

5 Stars - A stunning good historical m/f "crimance"
Full point from me for a fabulous audiobook

A tempting blurb and some very promising and good reviews (see Mei's excellent 5 stars review a week ago) and another one based on the audiobook edition (Caz 4.5 stars).
« ‘The Alec Halsey mysteries explore the darker side of Lucinda Brant’s deliciously romantic 18th century world. Along with her trademark wit and high drama there are deeper subplots and even quirkier characters
I've given this an A- for narration and B+ for content at AudioGals, so that's 4.5 stars, but I've rounded it up to 5.

It took me no more than five minutes of listening to this to know that in Alex Wyndham, Lucinda Brant had found the perfect narrator for her story. I saw a recent entry on her Facebook page that said she was very excited at having engaged him to narrate this, the first of her Alec Halsey series of mysteries set in Georgian England – and having heard him, I can now understand why.
Oct 05, 2015 Mei rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I was at the same time disguasted and fascinated by the life in the period Ms. Brant describes here!

The story is very interesting and the mystery very mysterious! :)

But what I appreciated most was the intrigue and stark lack of honour on one part and complete convinction of rightness on the other!

What I mean that the aristocracy was convinced taht everything they did, however wrong morally or otherwise, was right, but at the same time convicted common people for the same without any pang of con
Lady Wesley
Feb 04, 2016 Lady Wesley rated it it was amazing
February 4, 2016
The ebook version of this wonderful mystery/romance is now 99¢ at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iBooks. Try it and you'll be hooked like me.

January 1, 2016
One of my five 2015 favorites on Romantic Historical Reviews. Please follow the link to see favorites from Caz, Wendy, Claudia, Natalie, Sara, and moi.

Last year, I recommended Grace Burrowes’ entire Captive Hearts trilogy, as I could not pick a favorite from among them, and this year I find myself in a similar quandary. Lucinda B
Jun 05, 2013 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
Well, firstly, in my edition there were a few editing errors that were - to my picky little mind - worse than mere spelling mistakes. Spelling mistakes, well, it happens. But writing 'pour' instead of 'pore', and 'reign' instead of 'rein' just makes the author look like they're trying to use words they don't understand. Plus the words mean something different, and there's that moment of WTF as you try to parse the sentence as actually written and realise it makes no sense whatsoever...

Then there
Jun 05, 2016 Piper rated it really liked it
Nine months. It was not such a long time to wait. Nine months. Apart it would seem an eternity. But then she would come back to him and they would be married. Yes, the time would pass soon enough.

To be continued.........

Feb 15, 2016 Ally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
whoa just whoa

Ok a) I read the audio version. b) I need to go back and read the written word. c) I need to learn to take character notes as I read. d) I have a HUGE crush on Alec Halsey and Alex Wyndham - that man / boy is mine. Please, if there is a lord, let this man narrate more books like this. Moving on.

Basically, we have Alec who fancies himself in love??? with idiot Emily. Who is at best a child and whom (who?) Alec is using to assuage his want of Selina who he has some back history with
Jan 26, 2016 Kathleen rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: Ingela
Narrator Alex Wyndham (is he also known as Richard Armitage?) brings an extra star. His performance is Pitch Perfect. I could listen to him all day.

The best part of the story is the young red-headed valet, Tam, an apprentice-apothecary. But to steal a horse from the home of a duchess? Nah. He would have hung in 1763, Georgian England.

I also enjoyed trying to guess what happened when Alec was born, and why his mother felt the need to write letters of confession before she died.

But to me, this "c
For those of you that really enjoy C.S. Harris's Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series or the Captain Lacey series, you might enjoy Alec's books as well. The mystery was well plotted, I thought and much grittier with the way people could be cruel to one another in this timeframe. I did figure out who did it, but I enjoyed the ride along the way. Although Selena and Alec got on my nerves and why I only gave them a romantic thread. Strange thing was, is that peripheral scenes of smexy times was a bit m ...more
Mar 24, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Deadly Engagement is primarily a murder mystery which also features a gently moving romance that does not detract from the devious and sinister goings on.

Alec Halsey has returned from an overseas assignment with the Foreign Department after an eight month absence. A highly intelligent man left to make his way in the world, he is the second son of an earl who nevertheless revels in being allowed to be his own man. I found this description of him early in the story set the scene and firmly embedde
Lady Wesley
Apr 30, 2016 Lady Wesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 February 2016

If you have been thinking of trying this book narrated by the delectable Alex Wyndham, it is just $4.95 at right now, or $1.99 if you already own the Kindle book. A great bargain for a great audiobook!

You can read Wendy's five-star review at Romantic Historical Reviews.
Jun 29, 2012 Doreen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
Lucinda Brant has been a real find, and it proves the efficacy of giving away a book on Kindle because I have gone out and bought others by her.

This book is a little different from the usual historical romance - she has called the genre "crimance". Think of the Richard and Rose books. I was drawn in by the whodunnit side of the book: was there more than one criminal running round? how were the crimes connected? I was uncertain till near the end, when the suspects were reduced to one. I liked the
Feb 12, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I have read a book that said it was a Crimance........but I can't wait for another one. Deadly Engagement was true to its word. There was Romance mixed in with Crime......both of these together..had me wondering on both counts.......who would get together..and who was the bad guy. I could not put the book down. Looking forward to the next Alec Halsey book..........Deadly Affair that will be out later this year. Lucinda Brant has a way with words.........and I can't seem to ...more
Mar 10, 2015 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like historical mysteries.
As the front flap of the cover of this book states, this is a 'crimance' , "crime with lashings of romance". Alec Halsey, who is in the diplomatic corps of Georgian England, is the "second" son of the Duke of Delvin. He has just arrived home with marriage on his mind after eight months on the continent. He visits his godmother, a duchess, but Alec is concerned only with seeing her granddaughter. As the conversation goes forth, Alec discovers that the girl he wished to be his fiancée is betrothed ...more
While the general storyline is interesting and the writing clear and entertaining, this beginning to a new historical mystery series just didn't quite hit the mark. The story seemed disjointed and suffered from too much melodrama. The characters - even Alec, the main character - seemed to be made up of their individual ideals and motivations rather than actual human feeling and whimsy. The ingredients for a really good book were there, but something went wrong when Brant threw them all in togeth ...more
When I opened this ebook, it was billed as a 'crimance.' Call me a word snob, but if I had seen that in the description, I never would have bothered reading it. What the heck is a crimance? But I can't really hold that against the author because I don't know who chose that word. It could have been her, but it could have been the editor, some PR person, or a random publishing exec. In any case, it's such a horrible word!

But let's put that aside and talk about the story. Alec arrives back in Engla
Oct 19, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing
I really liked this mystery a lot, especially on audio, narrated by the yummy Alex Wyndham! Set in Georgian England, Alec Halsey returns to London - and the woman he intends to marry only to find out she's betrothed to his nasty brother, the Earl. Over the course of the book, we learn why Alec, who is actually the elder brother is not the Earl, why he never married the real woman he loved, and why he and his brother hate each others guts. We also meet lots of other people, friends, enemies, load ...more
I've been looking for a series similar to the Captain Lacey mysteries by Ashley Gardner for a while now. I thought this sounded promising. The story is very romantic and there's a fair bit of sexy to it but it also had characters that were engaging and a mystery that kept me interested. It's not what I typically read and I wasn't sure I was going to like it for a fair part of it but by the end I really did find it entertaining. I'm not sure that I will continue on with the series but I'd love to ...more
Another well done book by LB. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are a lot of characters to keep straight in this book… Just to start, there’s Alec of noble birth, with a bit of a scandalous history, and recently returned to town. Selina is a widow, finally free from an abusive husband, and Alec’s true love (although Alec’s convinced himself he loves the young Emily). Things get more complicated when you add Alec’s brother and arch nemesis, and Emily’s betrothed, Edward to the mix. There are a dozen other characters, and not all high society.
The majorit
Feb 23, 2016 Meg rated it really liked it
Maybe even 4.5.

Even though this book is classified by some as "romance," I would call it "historical mystery" with a romantic element. Not that the classification is that important, but I was surprised after reading it at that categorization.

Mysteries abound--and elements of evidence for each are well-developed and exposed slowly over the course of the book.

I found Alec Halsey and the wonderful narrator, Alex...someone, both very compelling.
Apr 24, 2016 Bj marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
On sale at Amazon for only $0.99 as of 4/24/16! Add-on Alex Wyndham's narration for only $1.99!
Mar 31, 2014 Bibliobee rated it it was ok
I prefer my historical fiction to be accurate historically and leave the fiction to the plot and characters. I have always appreciated a heavily researched and accurate work of historical fiction; these books, after all, are fiction not fantasy. Deadly Engagement is FULL of factual errors, most notably; language, discourse and action COMPLETELY inappropriate for Georgian England. Oddly enough, I still enjoyed this awful little crimance, despites it's over whelming flaws. It's definitely a guilty ...more
May 24, 2016 Erika rated it did not like it
from Amazon: "Spring 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London to the shocking news his estranged brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but is engaged to the woman Alec hoped to marry. The dead man’s mother wants Alec to investigate, so he reluctantly attends a weekend house party celebrating the engagement. Houseguests get more than they bargained for when a lady’s maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead. Uncovering a con ...more
Elis Madison
This gained a half star owing to some nice historical detail. It's a decent story; at least I kept reading, despite the fact that the writing was uneven. There are some awesome descriptions of people and settings, but way too much meandering dialogue and narrative. I skimmed a lot, so I probably missed a lot of clues, but still had the whodunit figured out early on.

There were also some misused words (she couldn't BREATH), lots of pronoun antecedent issues (it was often hard to know which "he" wa
Marguerite Kaye
May 05, 2015 Marguerite Kaye rated it really liked it
This was recommended to my by Wendy L and Alison L, and I am so glad that I listed. I loved this, and I'm delighted to discover that Lucinda Brant has not only written another one, but she's got a backlist for me to read too.

What did I love? Firstly, the Georgian time period in all its Hogarthian glory. It's bawdy, it's a time of fascinating politics, of outrageous clothes, of dirt and grime and drink and excess and poverty, and Lucinda Brant gives us a whiff of it all. Then I loved the charact
Connie D
Mar 07, 2016 Connie D rated it liked it
Alec Halsey returns to England from foreign duty in 1763 to find the girl he'd planned to marry. Emily, getting engaged to his rather horrible brother, Delvin. (Years before, he had lost his first love, Selina, to another terrible man, which just exacerbates the pain. Luckily, Selina's husband has recently died; unfortunately, so has her favorite cousin.) That's only the beginning of the story, but it is enough for us to get firmly on Alec's side before the murder mysteries need to be solved.

Theresa Brandt
Feb 07, 2016 Theresa Brandt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ripping good read!

Lucinda Brandt knows what she's doing. In Deadly Engagement she has created an interesting, multi-layered protagonist facing a number of substantial personal challenges in a plot that is fast-paced, tension-filled and engrossing. The mystery's resolution is not one that you'll likely figure out before it is revealed and there are a just enough plot twists to keep the surprise element alive and make the final resolution satisfying.

There is a personal relationship that develops i
Delicious Georgian mystery with excellent cast of characters, period details and just enough twist to keep the reader guessing until very close to the end.
Plus a totally hot hero...brainy and possessed of all his own hair.

Off to read the next book, Deadly Affair. You know the drill, go grab your own copy, these are worth buying!
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LUCINDA BRANT is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Georgian historical romances & mysteries. Her novels are described as from 'the Golden Age of romance with a modern voice', and 'heart wrenching drama with a happily ever after'.
Lucinda lives in the 18th Century most days (heaven!). Her guilty pleasure is Pinterest where you can visualize Lucinda's Georgian world & her n
More about Lucinda Brant...

Other Books in the Series

Alec Halsey Mystery (3 books)
  • Deadly Affair (Alec Halsey Mystery, #2)
  • Deadly Peril (Alec Halsey Mystery, #3)

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