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Murder, Magic, and What We Wore

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  961 ratings  ·  272 reviews
The year is 1818, the city is London, and our heroine, 16-year-old Annis Whitworth, has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was a spy, so following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current s
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Abi It's YA, as the main character is a teen, and there is a spot near the end with more advanced topics.…moreIt's YA, as the main character is a teen, and there is a spot near the end with more advanced topics.(less)

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Average rating 3.52  · 
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Sylvie Bower
Jul 28, 2016 marked it as to-read
Author - Regency romp.
Me - you have my attention.
Author - Spies.
Me - YES.
Author - "magicked garments that disguise the wearer."
Category: Regency set but not a romance

SQUEE!!! Georgette Heyer's Regency world +Magic is one of my favorite things to read. I absolutely loved Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. That was my gateway to a whole new genre I never imagined loving. This book is no exception and it's made better by references to characters from the above mentioned novel as well as Bloody Jack, Keeping the Castle, La Petite Four, Wrapped, Kat, Incorrigible and many other young adult and middle grades R
3-1/2 stars, rounded up because this was just so charming
When Annis Whitworth's father dies during one of his many travels, Annis and her aunt Cassia find themselves destitute, forced out of their comfortable London home and into a cottage in a small town. Cassia is determined to push Annis into respectable work for a young lady, either as a governess or as a widow's companion. Annis wants none of that. She's just become aware of her ability to sew glamours, and insists on setting up shop (in di
Brittney Andrews (beabookworm)
Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is a bewitching tale replete with lies, spies, and untrustworthy allies.

“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”
― Jane Austen

Most agreeable aspects of this tale:

🎀 famous quotes at the beginning of every chapter
🎀 the magical realism element
🎀 set in the Regency era (my fav!)
🎀 a suspenseful murder mystery
🎀 Jane Austen vi
Jacob Proffitt
Feb 07, 2018 marked it as unfinished
Shelves: balked-by-price
This was charming while I was reading it. But I made the mistake of putting it down and can't bring myself to bother picking it back up again. I find that the heroine doesn't survive reflection very well and the brashness and inconsistencies added up enough to prevent going further. For someone supposedly smart, she makes a lot of dumb assumptions and rash promises and I'm a little tired of the bumbling. Also, it'd help if the bad guys weren't so unrelentingly (and openly) appalling.

Anyway, I'm
Lauren Stoolfire
I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Annis Whitworth had always suspected that her father was a spy. When she learns of her father's sudden death and that all of his money has gone missing, she decides to follow in his footsteps as a spy and uncover the mystery of his murder. It makes perfect sense to her, but it doesn't make sense to England's top spymasters even though Annis has the rare ability to sew glamours - garments that can completely disguise the weare
Brandy Painter
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Regency Era. Spy Games. Magic. Fashion. If the title and cover of Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones were not enough to snare me, those word would seal the deal. As soon as I found out this book existed (which was later than I'm comfortable with), I wanted to read it. It isn't a perfect book, and I have some quibbles, but the bottom line is this book is just delightful.

Annis discovers her father is dead and that she and her au
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's 1818 London and 16-year-old Annis is leading the life of a typical society girl. However, when her father dies mysteriously and his accounts drained of money, her suspicions about him being a spy are confirmed. Left alone with her aunt and nearly destitute, the desperate pair, along with their maid Millie, move out of London to lead a quiet life in the country. Annis, however, is determined to make a living
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is an addictively adorable story full of magic, mysteries, and misconceptions. It's going up on my shelf of light and fun historical fiction novels that I save for whenever I need something that will make me smile. If you enjoyed The Stranje House series, this series opener is definitely for you.

Following the death of her father, Annis Whitworth and her aunt find that they are in dire financial straights and unable to keep up the genteel lifestyle to which they h
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Loved the first half, not so much the second. Very obvious twists, underdeveloped plot points, and weirdly cartoonish behavior from previously normal characters ( (view spoiler) ) I liked the main character, though, and the barely there/not there romance. The fashion commentary was a blast to read, as was the creative use of historical figures.
Promising, but in the end doesn't reach its full potential.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I devoured my ARC of this book in one day and sent this blurb to Kelly's editor: "A deliciously enchanting adventure full of magic, mystery and delight."

It was just so much fun! Regency girl spies, magical sewing, disguises, and strong female friendships. Perfect!

Also, on a completely personal level, I *loved* the fact that my own Kat Stephenson's family is mentioned twice in this novel, as background characters in the world. (Kelly wrote to me last year asking for permission and quoting her inc
Ashley (Bound to Love YA)
While this book didn't knock my socks off, it was a fun little regency romp. I can never pass up a title that promises historical fiction with a splash of magic. This is a title for anyone who enjoyed Love, Lies, and Spies, but, in my opinion, it didn't quite live up to the Sorcery and Celia touted in the blurb.

Here's what I liked:
- There were three strong, intriguing women who formed positive, supportive relationships
- The narrator wasn't a special snowflake - in fact, she had a lot to learn a
Magical and mysterious, Murder, Magic, and What We Wore was such a fun tale that kept me glued to the pages until the very last word.

The story begins with Annis Whitworth receiving some very crushing news - her father is dead, killed in his line of work that takes him here there and everywhere. While Annis and her father were never particularly close, being that he spent the majority of his time away on business, his death still leaves her in a deep state of mourning. Now she and her aunt Cassi
Kathy Martin
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I like historical mysteries, the Regency time period, and magic which made this book a no-brainer choice for me. The story begins when 16-year-old Annis Whitworth learns that her father has died in France. When her father's man of business arrives to tell Annis and her Aunt Cassia about the death, he also tells them that her father died penniless. Annis and Aunt Cassia are looking at a major life change!

Her aunt is determined that the two look for work as governesses or companions but Annis has
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This had a fun, lighthearted Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot vibe. I found the protagonist to be a bit unlikable throughout most of the book, but the plot kept me engaged enough that I didn't mind. I would love to read a companion book from Millie's point of view--I found it much easier to root for her than Annis, and really want to know more about her.

Thanks to Knopf and Edelweiss for providing a digital review copy.
Olga Godim
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny and sweet. Maybe even a little bit farcical, not serious at all, but very, very charming. It made me smile. This YA historical hovers on the edge between a spy thriller and a dressmaking romp, with lots of humor.
I enjoyed it.
A few things about this book right off the bat: first of all, it took me a long time to read. My attention just wasn't held the way I hoped it would have been. Especially because it felt rather like it was going to be a YA historical/almost-cozy mystery, which would have been right up my alley. Still overall regardless of exact genre, the plot moved very slowly.

Secondly, the magic in this book was not very exciting, widespread, nor well explained. Was it unique? Yes. You will never find Harry, R
This book was a delight! I loved the setting, the characters, and their storylines so much and I highly recommend it as a "cheer-up book" for anyone who is in need of some magic to lift their spirits, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction. I'd love either a sequel to see what happens next, and/or a related novel about Countess Lieven and her backstory.

(view spoiler)
i fall in love book blog
Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones is an adorably enchanting YA historical-fantasy-mystery all rolled into one. Reading it feels like the beginning of a series, so while I haven't seen any mention of it being a series.... I'm really hoping for it.

I was actually on the fence with this book. Annis was a character that I really just wasn't feeling and I quickly got annoyed with her. Fortunately, most of the other women in this book are fierce, intelligent and independent. Eventually, An
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**I voluntarily read this ARC**

This was so cute and fun! I honestly could not put it down. The mystery was interesting, but the one clue they had completely gave it away. The characters were wonderful, but at times it felt like Annis was overshadowed by the other characters. I absolutely adored the setting, and I loved the addition of magic.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
First sentence: We were at home when my father's solicitor arrived.

Premise/plot: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is a delightful historical mystery set in Regency England. The heroine, Annis Whitworth, is being raised by her aunt Cassia. Soon after the novel opens, the two learn that her father is dead; he's died leaving them destitute. But something about her father's death troubles Annis. She believes her father was a spy, and that her father was murdered because of what he knew. Ever-practica
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This is fun, and frothy and eminently readable. It does have an unfortunate case of worst!possible!thing!has!happened! (view spoiler). I enjoyed it while I was reading it, not sure how long I'll remember it. ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok

I was expecting a whole lot more from this, but Annis was just so horrifically BAD at being a spy that it became quite irritating to read after a while.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

Being very familiar with (and loving) fantasy books set in England's Regency period, I absolutely had to read MURDER, MAGIC, AND WHAT WE WORE. And overall, I was not disappointed! While it had its flaws, this book is a fun example of this genre, and is a cute, quick read.

I was amused by Annis' antics - she is both observant and somewhat dense at times. Her maid, Millie, was an even more interesting character, and I liked her partnership with Annis. Mil
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
(I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a review. Thanks, NetGalley folks!)

GUYS, I really, really wanted to love this book.

Fashion! Regency! Spies! Magic! All the things combined that should make this my absolute cup of tea. But... it didn't... it didn't end up panning out, for me.

Things I liked:
- The world. The forms of magic and the ways they used it was all very interesting!
- The friendship between our two leading ladies. This was definitely the strongest part of the book! Ac
Sep 09, 2017 added it
DNF @ 20%

One of my favorite series that I've ever read is the These Vicious Masks series by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. The created a brilliant regency comedy full of heart, magic, romance, and the best thing ever: poking fun at Victorian times and the classic regency cliches. That's exactly what I expected when I picked up this book. However, what I got was something a bit weirder a bit more boring than I was expecting.

I have to give so much kudos to the author for creating such an unique pr
This book was absolutely delightful and I adored every moment I spent reading it!!!

The author does a perfect job of marrying Regency life, magic, spies, and strong female characters into a cleverly-written, exciting and charming world.

Annis is wonderful, if a bit muddling when it comes to her attempts to become a spy, but then, that's part of the charm of this story. I loved her determination, spunk and kindness to those around her as she tries to find her way in the new world she's discovering.
Janet Robel
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Appropriately named title for this clever mystery. Annis Whitworth can sew like nobody's business, and she discovers she has a talent for creating whatever she wants out of rags. She is immediately likable and has a penchant for getting into trouble. Annis and her friend Mille along with Aunt Cassia, set out on finding the truth about what happened to Annis' dad and uncover more than they bargained for. These are memorable characters I can't wait to revisit. This is fun amateur sleuthing with a ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Pro: I find this time period quite delightful and the setting. It was fun to see Annis transplanted from London to the countryside.

Con: I liked the mystery element, but there was a clue that sort of gave it all away. There were still a few other parts of the mystery that were unknown, and being able to figure out the first part did not detract from my enjoyment.

Pro: The friendship that developed between Annis and Millie was quite special. In fact, there were many strong female f
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I did end up enjoying this book but stuck with three stars because I found that the action moved rather slowly. Based on the title, I was hoping to see more murder, magic, and fashion sooner rather than later. I felt it didn’t really get interesting until the last third of the book. I also didn’t care for the main character, Annis, much until the end of the book and much preferred Millie. The last third of the book was good though and I enjoyed the ending.
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Once upon a time, Kelly Jones was a librarian and a bookseller. Now, she writes novels for young people and takes care of a few hilarious chickens. She’s the author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer; Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken?; Murder, Magic, and What We Wore; Sauerkraut; and Happily for Now. You can find her online at her website,, or on Twi ...more

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