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The Mitford Murders

(Mitford Murders #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  8,452 ratings  ·  1,116 reviews
It's 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle.

Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nursery maid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy - an acerbic,
Hardcover, 421 pages
Published September 14th 2017 by sphere
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'As she moved along, stately but sure, like the Lusitania departing from Liverpool, she thought she recognized a figure out of the corner of her eye. It gave Florence a start. Did he know she would be at Victoria? The man was slight, angular and frayed at the edges - a wooden life raft to her ocean liner. His back was half turned away and his hat was pulled down low so that she couldn't be sure if he had seen her. Florence picked up the pace, her heart quickening. She spotted her Porter ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a great lover of Golden Age mysteries, but often feel that modern novels which attempt to recreate that period feel, sometimes suffer from an attempt to make them modern and appeal to modern readers. In some ways, this novel is a good example of a mystery, set in the period 1919 – 1921, yet which is aimed at a modern audience and attempts to make the crime more realistic; yet, in doing so, loses some of the charm of those books.

Louisa Cannon lives with her washerwoman mother, and her unscr
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
3.5 stars
The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes is a historical murder mystery novel that came into my hands through a family member who I often trade books with. I was initially intrigued by the surname of the author of this book, Jessica Fellowes. A quick search of Jessica Fellowes revealed that she is connected to Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame, she is his niece. Further connections to Downton Abbey came to light as I discovered that Jessica Fello
Maine Colonial
Oct 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
As someone who’s been reading about the Mitford family for years, I just couldn’t resist buying this book. But I wish I had.

Much of the story plays out at the Mitfords’ estate in 1920, when the eldest child, Nancy, is 16 and the youngest, Deborah is born. Our main character, Louisa Cannon, age 18, has fled dire circumstances in London and been taken on as a nursery maid. Nancy latches on to Louisa because she is starved for variety and the companionship of someone close to her own age.

The Nancy
Louisa Cannon lived with her mother, both quietly working for others as a seamstress and washerwoman. Things had been hard since her father died, but it had become much worse when her uncle arrived. Louisa was frightened of him, and her mother was too cowed to speak up. So Louisa kept out of his way while she dreamed of escape. One thing led to another and suddenly Louisa had the opportunity to work in Asthall Manor with the Mitford family – she would be a governess of sorts to the six children ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I’ve read by this author; she's built quite a following over her "Downtown Abby" books. I love historical mysteries primarily set in post-war Britain. This book did not disappoint; the way Ms. Fellowes weaved the facts of the case with her own brand of fiction made this a terrific mystery. I must confess, I had no idea this book was based on a true story until I finished the book and read the author’s notes.
Florence Nightingale Shore was a war nurse whose God Mother you
Brenda Kittelty
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Do yourself a favour... and give this overly long, nonsensical insult to the mystery/crime genre a really wide berth. Anyone who can make the famously eccentric Mitford family appear so dull and boring deserves some sort of reverse commendation. And to pin the based-on-real-events-murder on an actual person, whom the author admits was blameless in her epilogue, is sailing close to the winds of defamation and slander. This book was ten kinds of crap. Why in the hell did I persist?
Alice Lippart
Super enjoyable and entertaining cosy mystery. Love the setting and the time period.

I will mention though, if you're going into this wanting to read about the Mitford sisters, the fact that the characters in here are based on them is completely irrelevant and you're going to be disappointed if that's what you're after. I went in not remembering that they were a real family, so I just went along without that element and that probably made it a lot easier for me to enjoy. If you can look aside fro
Josephine Quealy
*cue Cartman voice* Ah’m talkin’ fifth-season Night Court LAME.

This was a dreary effort and I’ll not be delving further into the series. A drippy heroine, a plodding plot, and having Nancy saying ‘Farve’ every five seconds does not conjure up the world of the Mitfords. There’s a plot twist revealed halfway through that you’ll probably see coming and, even if you don’t, will NOT have you clutching your pearls. You’ll also most likely guess the killer. Utter drivel.
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars.
The story starts with a prologue and the murder in 1920 on a train Florence Nightingale Shore before going back to Christmas Eve 1919. Even though it means leaving her beloved mother, Louisa Cannon desperately wants to leave London and escape from her dangerous uncle who would involve her in all manner of schemes. That Christmas Louisa writes a letter she hopes will change her life for the better. Despite some setbacks she ends up being employed at Asthall Manor as a nurse
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good first story for a new murder mystery series!
The main characters are likeable and it was a pleasant read despite that it had a rather slow beginning to get to the point of the investigation lead by the protagonists!
I really am fond of stories set upon period eras and that added to my giving a high rating!
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
A highly entertaining whodunnit and an excellent blend of fact and fiction. The murder of Florence Nightingale Shore in January 1920 was a true crime and the Mitford family are not just famous but infamous! The rest is fiction.

I have already read the second and third books in this series so reading this first book was like reading a prequel. It made no difference to my enjoyment though. In fact, it probably added to it because I knew I was in for a treat and it explained the background to the ne
Sanne Udsen
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only mystery here is how this could be anywhere near a bestseller list ...
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was largely a book of fiction but based on real events and people after WWI. I liked Louisa and the Nancy Mitford story more than the murder mystery of Nightingale. Good book but I didn’t love like I was hoping. 3.5 stars!
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Oh my Lord, this book is BAD! I don’t know if I’m more bothered that the crime element was so weak it would have struggled to make an engaging novella, or that the Mitfords have somehow been reduced to insipid blandness.

Don’t even get me started on the ending - you CANNOT just decide that an actual real person who was never even charged let alone suspected, was guilty of the murder. A real person who was a good friend. Who was involved in running the memorial to Florence Nightingale Shore. That’
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
3.5 stars, rounded up

A fun period mystery, based upon a real unsolved murder, with plenty of appearances of real people from the era.

It grabbed me from the beginning, with the murder of Florence Nightingale Shore. As it still remains a mystery today, I couldn’t wait to see where the story went. I’m also fascinated by the the Mitford sisters and looked forward to reading about them. Although I enjoyed the story, I think it could’ve been even better with more details. I would classify this as a
Aug 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
not for me - a young woman being violently treated by her drunken uncle is not something I care to proceed with and find the number of positive reviews hard to swallow
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2018
I was hoping to love this one but, unfortunately, I didn't. I was expecting a cozy mystery with the possible involvement of the Mitford sisters. It was kinda like that but just not quite what I wanted. Let me first say that this wasn't badly written. Jessica Fellowes can write, and I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy this series. However, I think for me everything seemed bland. Bland characters and a bland plot.

We open to Florence Nightingale Shore being murdered--which is a real life murder tha
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Mitford sisters have fascinated me for more than a decade, I read biographies, autobiographies, their letters, Nancy Mitford's novels etc. I don't think I am an expert, but I am familiar, so I think the main reason I found this book hard to deal with was the fact that I simply could not see any point in bringing the Mitfords into this otherwise fine murder mystery.

The setting is 1919/1920 and a young girl from London tries to escape from her evil uncle and is glad to get a job as nursery ma
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2017, mystery
*2.5 stars
Nov 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
So much wasted potential, this book just wasn’t good...
Dutch review on my blog/Review will be up soon.
Joanne D'Arcy
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Mitford Sisters have always fascinated me. How six women made such an impact on social and political history throughout the twentieth century. The people they knew and associated with jump from the pages of a history book.

When I first saw this title, I was intrigued. even more so when I learnt the author is related to Julian Fellowes* of Downton Abbey fame. There must be a storytelling gene somewhere in them there Fellowes!

But whilst this is a story, this is also a book based in reality, bas
Roman Clodia
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
It was probably only a matter of time before someone turned Nancy Mitford into a detective! This is set between 1919-21 when Nancy is 16-18 with a climax at her coming-out ball. She's bright and sassy, with some traces of her famous wit but Fellowes gets away with it by making her so young. The other 'Mitford gals' are more or less children and babies and don't play much part in this. The main characters are Louisa, a run-away working-class nanny and friend to Nancy, and her romantic interest, a ...more
Sue Schwab
Mar 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
I feel dumber for having read the first 100 pages.
Jacob Overmark
It could have been Miss Marple …
There is a certain resemblance in style, and era - and it is fairly well written/translated (into Danish)

Normally I would not go into the genre "historical crime fiction", but the book was on sale and it served it´s cause, providing me with, if not riveting, then a plausible plot for light summer reading.

Blood, romance, rich kid - poor kid, social realism.

Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Jessica Fellowes evokes the 1920s very well and you are transported into the lives of The Mitfords. From humble beginnings in London, the nascent transport police on the Brighton line and service at The Mitfords, there are many strands to this tale.

I must confesss that I found the initial chapters confusing but persisted and am very glad I did. I loved Louisa and the policemen who brought a more human angle to the book.

Very enjoyable and a bit different - although,
Laura Lou
Nov 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book started very slowly and took a long time to get more thrilling or interesting. But I did rather like the last third of the book and would have given three or maybe a generous four stars. However, having heard the afterward I was appalled. This book was an ugly merge of fact and fiction. Apparently this woman was murdered but the killer was never found. So this author just decided to make a real person the prime suspect and in the book the murderer? When in real life this person wasn’t ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Some of it is farfetched but I was fooled on who the murderer was so it kept me guessing. I'll carry on with the series! ...more
Abigail Bok
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This historical mystery is based on a real murder—that of Florence Nightingale’s goddaughter, Florence Nightingale Shore, in 1920. In real life the mystery was never solved, but Jessica Fellowes weaves an alternate reality where good wins out in the end.

She does this by creating a nursemaid for the famous Mitford family, Louisa Cannon, and a young officer of the railway police, Guy Sullivan, who team up to solve the case. Guy is an especially appealing character, dreaming of building a better li
Dawn Michelle
While I gave this book 4 stars [I really like the characters, the mystery {based on real life} was very good and the narrator is excellent], I feel it could have been about 150 pages shorter. It really bogged down in the middle and it was hard to stay focused on what was going on [because I didn't really CARE about what was going on]. Ultimately, it was an very good read and I found out who the murderer was at the same time as Louisa and that made it all worthwhile. I also liked how the author h ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Mitford Murders - Fellows - 3 stars 1 9 Feb 18, 2021 06:16PM  

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Mitford Murders (4 books)
  • Bright Young Dead (The Mitford Murders #2)
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