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Death on the Sapphire

(Lady Frances Ffolkes #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  104 reviews
An extraordinary woman living in extraordinary times, Lady Frances Ffolkes is an Edwardian-era suffragette who has an uncanny ability to attract danger and romance.

When Major Colcombe, a family friend and war veteran, dies under mysterious circumstances, Lady Frances discovers that he was working on a manuscript about South Africa’s bloody Boer War, which reportedly reveal
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Crooked Lane Books
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I'm trusting you, Franny. I'm giving you this information in return for which you won't get involved in something you shouldn't. Now does that satisfy your curiosity?"

Kinda like puttin' a bowl of colorful M&M's in front of a dazzled toddler. Guaranteed to catch the eye and leave a trail of evidence behind.......

Lady Frances Ffolkes (Don't ya love that spelling, folks?) involves herself in a multitude of life situations here in 1906. She's certainly not typical of the Edwardian ladies of her
Kathy Martin
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This mystery was an excellent introduction to an intrepid heroine and life in 1906 England. Lady Frances Ffolkes is the daughter and sister of a Marquess. However, she doesn't fit very well into the society lady mold. She was sent to America to attend Vassar. Now back home in London, she is living in an exclusive lady's hotel being served by her loyal maid June Mallow. She fills her days with committee meetings and charitable activities. She is a suffragette.

When the sister of a family friend -
J. Else
Lady Frances Ffolkes is an extremely busy woman. Along with chairing the Women’s Political Equality movement, meetings with the Ladies’ Educational Improvement Club, volunteering at the soup kitchen, and managing her own finances while living independently in Edwardian-era London (specifically 1906), she also finds herself hunting for a lost manuscript. After her friend, Major Daniel Colcombe, dies under mysterious circumstances, his war manuscript, a record of his activities during South Africa ...more
Lady Frances Ffolkes has embarrassed her noble family by campaigning for women's suffrage, volunteering at a soup kitchen and moving to a hotel for ladies with only her maid for a chaperone. Conventional Lady Frances is not, but she IS a loyal friend and when a family friend, Kat Colcombe, comes crying for help finding her late brother Daniel's missing manuscript, Lady Frances is only too happy to help. She begins to have her suspicions that Danny, an ex-soldier, did not die in a gun cleaning ac ...more
Jessica Robbins
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...
Diane Lynn
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Set in London, 1906

Lady Frances Ffolkes is a very independent and modern lady for her time. She speaks on women's suffrage, works in a soup kitchen, and is always looking for ways to improve the lives of those less fortunate. She also controls her own finances and lives in a residence hotel for ladies, mostly for the freedom it gives her.

The story begins with a missing manuscript after the death of a family friend. The manuscript concerned a battle and a group of soldiers during the Boer Wars.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this introduction to a young progressive woman of the Edwardian period who determines that she is the one to help uncover the mystery surrounding the death of a childhood friend as well as the disappearance of a manuscript he had written documenting a particular battle in the Boer War. I will definitely read any following books in this series because it has been quite a while since I have read a book that just made me smile.
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is 1906, and Lady Frances Ffolkes is an unconventional young lady—she wants women to be treated as equals, and to be given the right to vote. She and her intrepid maid, Mallow, are determined to solve the mystery of a missing manuscript, despite all of the obstacles presented by men who think they should stay out of such dangerous business. An excellent historical mystery with engaging characters.
Jessica Howard
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very entertaining and atmospheric Edwardian mystery. Full review for Shelf Awareness.
Sharon Schlegel
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good story. I hope there are more in the series.
Mary Morris
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do not miss this book

A woman before her time brings us into the twentieth century and solves a crime while doing it. So much history of the social strata of the first few years of women’s suffer age.
Lady Francis could be appropriate for this day and age. I can see her leading the “ Me Too Movement” and a woman’s right to chose. Read these books in reverse order and was not disappointed. Looking forward to the fourth book starring Lady Francis fFolks.
Nancy H
With a heroine every bit as wonderful as Maisie Dobbs or Kate Shackleton, this story is set in early twentieth-century London. When Lady Frances Ffolke learns of the mysterious death of a friend of her brother, and a missing manuscript which would damage many reputations in high society circles of London, she decides to investigate. She is already in some disgrace with her family because of her suffragist views and choice of living independently, but this life style gives her the freedom to trac ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great way to chill on the sofa. This novel tries a little hard, but the net result is fun (and I would love the publisher to fix the awful cover picture!)

Recommended to older readers who like their main character to have some oomph!
I received an ARC of this book to review for Library Journal. Read my review there when it is published.
Shelby Kollin
"It will do me good. Down at the hall, everyone's heart is broken. Perhaps I need reminding there are worse things in life than being courted by a cad."

The above quote is just a small example to show Franny's beautiful character. This novel started off boring me to no end. I very nearly gave up. Every chapter started with picking out the lady's outfit for whichever the day's events would entail. There was hardly anything interesting happening for the first 100 pages or so. However, it really tur
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-most-foul
Lady Frances Ffolkes has a college degree from Vassar, is passionate about women's suffrage and social welfare, and does many things a gently brought up lady ought not.

When a friend asks her help to find a stolen manuscript, written by a recently deceased veteran of the Boer War, Frances is on the case. While she has never investigated anything, she has an alert and noticing eye, a tidy, organized mind, an understanding of humanity, and June Mallow, her lady's maid. Really, it's all she needs t
This historical mystery was a treat to read. Set in London in 1906, the mystery surrounds a manuscript and the death of a family friend of Lady Frances. This reader was impressed by the characters'depth and the complexity of the mystery. Lady Frances and her maid, Miss Mallow, are so likeable. Lady Frances is a college educated, free -thinker involved on all sorts of committees and she is a suffragette. Her energy seems unending!
Death on the Sapphire is the first in a series. Happily, I will be
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a series I really enjoy. I like the time period and the characters, strong women, but very pleasant. The mysteries are fun. The author gives us good info of the times and is a good writer. I read Death at the Emerald first. I even like this one better, and I have ordered Death Among Rubies and it is on the way 👏
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most entertaining books I have read in a while. I love reading books set in the Edwardian period. This one has a wonderful heroine and a great plot. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I enjoyed every words in this book! I loved all thr aspects of this story and charming characters. Lady Frances Ffolkes is absolutely and entirely my favorite character, indeed.
Brianne Lawton
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy the historical genre, particularly those based in England and loved that this had the added bonus of mystery in it. Great story line and plot; kept me engaged during my long commute!!
Linda Huigens
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much. It was full of humor and intrigue. I will look for similar books by this author.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love finding a good new series.
Patricia Gulley
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's not to love with this fiesty suffragist, woman ahead of her time. Oh, and she solves mysteries. I liked the way she thought of other people below her rank and tried to help them.
Vicki Gooding
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intelligent, humble Lady Franny. Move over Ms Marple. Delightful read
The Book Report
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, audio, cozy-mystery
A wonderful surprise! Expertly crafted, from pacing, plot, timing, world building and character depth. A marvelous read. How is this series not more popular? Franny and Co are splendid.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lady Francis FFolkes is asked by a family friend to find a manuscript that disappeared after the death of her brother under questionable circumstances. Along with her maid Mallow this Edwardian suffragist embarks on a journey to find justice and a murderer. This is a great first novel and I am looking for more. An interesting glance into social status and power plays.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A Mystery set in Victorian times having to do with the Boer War in Africa where Lady Frances Ffolkes's is trying to find a manuscript written by a dear friend of hers who served in that conflict. The problem is the manuscript was stolen from the deceased's study and is found to be much in demand from various people in whose best interest it is that the manuscript be found by them so it can be used for their nefarious uses. Lady Ffolkes is a determined modern young woman of those times and is no ...more
Erin Jungdahl
I stayed awake to finish this story

The protagonist was engaging, like I would definitely want to be her friend. The mystery was well-paced and the setting was interesting. After reading this, I'm curious about the Boer War and the world in which it occurred.
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R.J. Koreto is the author of the Lady Frances Ffolkes mystery series, set in Edwardian England, and the Alice Roosevelt mystery series, set in turn-of-the-century New York. His short stories have been published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

In his day job, he works as a business and financial journalist. Over the years, he’s been a magazine writer and

Other books in the series

Lady Frances Ffolkes (3 books)
  • Death Among Rubies (Lady Frances Ffolkes #2)
  • Death at the Emerald  (Lady Frances Ffolkes #3)