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Deadly Engagement

(Alec Halsey Mystery #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,156 ratings  ·  171 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 mans mother wants Alec to investigate, so he reluctantly attends a weekend house party celebrating the engagement. Houseguests get more than they ...more
Paperback, second, 326 pages
Published March 2nd 2015 by Sprigleaf (first published February 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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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 Brants 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.

Sep 17, 2015 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
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: Ingie
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
That's me while I was reading this book...

Deadly Engagement had all the elements of drama, murder(s), intrigue, scandal, second-chance romance, plot twists, violence and action, which helped me to get out my reading slump. Thank you, book. Few extra points you deserve for that
Am still not sure whether I got the revelations that came one after the other O.O
And the ending seemed a bit abrupt and rushed to me. verdict
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible

Well this one fell in the middle of the road for me. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either.

And it certainly was no hardship listening to Alex Wyndham. ❤

Lady Wesley
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
Al George
Feb 04, 2016 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
Jan 16, 2015 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
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 ...more
May 29, 2016 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.........

Lady Wesley
Jun 06, 2015 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.
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 ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5, voicing and story were both excellent. A great mystery, murder and intrigue. Loved it. So far a trilogy but I believe the author plans to continue the series.

Alec Halsey, birth order and his place in nobility is a great story unto itself. But it's not the main driver of this novel. No, murder broken hearts and an excellent mystery. Alec is a diplomat by profession but his lineage is definitely a draw and a mystery. He has a keen intellect and a way of sorting through a quagmire of details
Dec 21, 2014 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
Jun 29, 2012 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
Jan 13, 2012 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
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
I teamed up with fellow blogger, Eileen Dandashi of Booktalk With Eileen to share our thoughts on Deadly Engagement.

Carol: Deadly Engagement
was a real departure for me because it is essentially a historical mystery with romantic elements rather than a historical romance. Having read/listened to several books in Lucinda Brants Roxton Family Saga series, which I absolutely loved, it didnt take much for my friends to persuade me that I should read this series. What were your initial thoughts,
I really enjoyed this, though I thought I was getting historical romance and what I actually got was a historical crime thriller with a little romance mixed in. It was quite a good surprise.

The characterizations were well done, whether good or bad and the pacing kept the plot moving the whole book. The mystery was well developed and had a couple of surprise twists I wasn't expecting.

And not the least of all *and honestly the reason I looked at this*, the gorgeous sound of Alex Wyndham reading
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
Trish R.
Kinda' Meh..

So, 27 reviewers mentioned this was a romance. At 33% I was wondering where the romance was to be found. Alec Halsey has been with Emily, the lady he hoped to propose to, and Selina the lady he DID propose to six years ago, and there wasnt one thought of desire for either of them. Nothing that would make me believe this was a romance. Not to mention this book is boring as hell up to 33%.

Yeah, and Lady Gervais was really, really slutty! Yuck! I didnt like her at all. She just goes
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"
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
Aug 01, 2015 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, ...more
I really enjoyed listening to this audio narrated by the wonderful Alex Wyndham. As others have said, it was almost like listening to a play being performed. His voices, even for the women, were excellent. But best of all was the sexy Alec oh my!! More mystery than romance but certainly had elements of romance in the story. Kind of a cliff hanger ending which means I'll have to purchase Deadly Affair if I want to see if Alec and Selina may actually get together.
Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
Another well done book by LB. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book was excellent and as I was reading it I realized the major difference between it and other mysteries which I haven't much cared for, which is that a good mystery like this one keeps me guessing and constantly revising who I think the perpetrator might be. The character of Alec Halsey was well drawn and the other major characters were also described well. The setting was mainly at a Duchess's estate in England of the early 1760s. Alec Halsey is a career diplomat but his brother, Edward, ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this current period of "social distancing," it's best to have large amounts of reading material on hand. (Not that my to-be-read pile has done anything but grow over the years.) Enter a Georgian historical mystery series!
This is the first in a series featuring Alec Halsey, the younger son of an Earl and a career diplomat. I really liked Alec as a character and the secondary characters around him were well-portrayed and interesting. The plot also dealt with some issues you don't typically read
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This could be subtitled "Aristocrats Behaving Badly." I picked this up for holiday reading because it looked appropriately light, and then was surprised that it was pretty good. In fact, I'll probably look for more in the series. The events in this first book take place over a lengthy weekend of celebrating an engagement at a country estate, and as the title suggests, the party is marred by murders as well as other negative encounters. The protagonist is supposedly the younger brother of the ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-notable
This is a good story with a decent premise. I did not have a problem with the writing. What did bother me was that this story had so much to remind me of how much sounded like Poldark. It was also too easy to figure out who the villain is and what he/she did to Alec and his friends.

Perhaps another time I will finish it.
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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

Other books in the series

Alec Halsey Mystery (4 books)
  • Deadly Affair (Alec Halsey Mystery, #2)
  • Deadly Peril (Alec Halsey Mystery, #3)
  • Deadly Kin (Alec Halsey Mystery #4)

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