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A Devious Death

(A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #3)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  51 reviews
In the sobering yet hopeful years following the First World War, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, find their summer plans marred by an instance of murder . . .

Phoebe and her sister Julia are eager for a summer getaway at High Head Lodge, the newly purchased estate of their cousin Regina. But they are not the only houseguests. Regina's odd friend,
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published January 1st 2018 by Kensington Books (first published December 26th 2017)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Devious Death is the third book in the Lady And Lady’s Maid series.

I love to step back in time to before cell phone, computers, and the medical advancements we now have. The Lady and Lady’s Maid series is one my of very favorites for just that.

It’s August of 1919 and Lady Julia, her sister Lady Phoebe with their maids are on their way to visit Cousin Regina, who has recently inherited a large amount of money from her deceased father. Regina, who has purchased a manor house, wants Lady Julia to
Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her sister Julia have been invited to visit their second cousin Lady Regina Brockhurst at her newly purchased home High Head Lodge. Julia is eager to get away from her grandmother's constant attempts at marrying her off to an eligible gentleman and is eager for the visit, despite the gloomy appearance of the Lodge. Phoebe isn't sure why she has been invited but is hoping to become closer to her sister and older cousin. Regina's friend Olive Asquith (certainly no relation ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
“A Devious Death” earns 5/5 Murderous Motives…Delightful Fun, M’ Lady!

Ladies Phoebe and Julia Renshaw are eager to spend some of their summer at High Head Lodge, the estate recently purchased by cousin Regina with her ‘more than the lion’s share’ of the inheritance from her late father’s estate. Family drama, of course, ensues when Regina’s mother, brother and sister-in-law, and family lawyer make a disagreeable appearance with the purpose of convincing Regina to share her windfall more
Cathy Daniel
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
An entertaining light mystery. I guess who the murderer was before the end easily but it's not a book for heavy thinking. Just breezy enjoyment. I have enjoyed this series but I won't be continuing with it after an interaction with the author where she was pretty rude. I don't support or recommend authors who are rude to their readers.
Missi Martin (Stockwell)
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It always amazes me how much research goes into a fictional story. I use to just read a book, enjoy the story and leave it at that. But now when I read a book, I not only enjoy the story but appreciate the hard work that the author put into the story to ensure that it captures the reader's attention. After all an author's goal is to tell an interesting story, one that will mesmerize the reader and if the author is lucky the story will stay with the reader even after the last word is read and the ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: oh-the-mystery
As always, an enjoyable and engaging read as we discover scandalous secrets! Maxwell interests readers with tidbits on our beloved characters as we watch their relationships develop, whether it be positively or tragically. I found myself struggling to piece together who our murderer was this time around, as it seemed all suspects has their own goals and secrets to hide. Even though this book series is set to a more classic time period, I found myself loving how strong our female characters were ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
An entertaining read. I am not one for British cozies but I really like this series. Even in a house full of suspects with multiple motives, the story kept me guessing the killer's identity until the very end.
I really liked this book - much more than the other two books in the series. With this one, I never guessed "whodunit" or expected the deaths of 2 of the characters! Such a shocker to me. And when we learn about the house and its usage is also a huge surprise; I wasn't expecting what happened to happen.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to the author's next book in this series.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lady Julia and Lady Phoebe have been invited to visit their cousin Regina at her newly purchased estate. Of course each of them have taken their maids. Julia has a new maid, Myra. Phoebe has her long time maid, Eva.

When they arrive at the estate, they not only find Regina, but they also meet her new friend Olivia. Suddenly, Regina's mother, brother, sister-in-law and family attorney all arrive. They are there to convince Regina to share her new inheritance. She refuses and that leaves her
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
A DEVIOUS DEATH, the third book in the Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery series, is a delightful study in changing England immediately following the end of World War I. Lady Phoebe, her sister Julia, and their ladies maids are invited to Cousin Regina’s new home. Regina has recently inherited her father’s estate, and the way she chooses to use her newfound wealth, which remains somewhat of a mystery throughout the book, is reflective of the changing times. The lines between the classes are ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Phoebe and her older sister July are off to visit their cousin Regina, who has recently purchased High Head Lodge after inheriting all of her father's estate. The inheritance is a bit controversial because it would have been expected that Regina's brother would have inherited the bulk of the estate. Regina is a bit of a rogue in the family, though. She, like Phoebe, is more independent than many other landed ladies.

In fact, Regina has plans to redecorate High Head Lodge so that it is no
Susan Johnston
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Princess Fuzzypants here:
Phoebe and Julia question why they have been invited to visit their cousin, Regina. From the beginning, nothing seems straightforward and when Regina’s mother, brother and sister in law arrive, the tensions go into high gear. Regina’s father has bestowed his fortune upon her leaving the other three impoverished. Needless to say, accusations fly. It is anything but a happy family. Regina’s strange friend and the family lawyer make up the group staying in Regina’s home.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Julia and Phoebe are visiting their cousin, a newly minted heiress who is clearly up to something. Eva and Julia's new maid, who is also up to something, also come along. The new maid has serious airs about her and left the service of Lady DIana Manners somewhat strangely to Eva's mind. Cousin Regina is living with her friend Olive in a newly purchased home after inheriting everything from her recently dead father - at the expense of her brother and mother. She has big plans for the house but ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have not read the previous 2 books in the series. I don't feel I was missing much info as far as the actual mystery went but I was lacking some knowledge of the sisters' history which was driving some of their interactions. Didn't stop me from solving who did it but left me wondering about the sisters themselves.
Lady Phoebe and her sister have been invited to visit the home their cousin Regina just purchased. Regina has a friend living with her as well. Regina has plans to get rid of all the
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

In this cozy mystery, Lady Phoebe and her lady's maid, Eva, work to solve a murder that directly impacts Phoebe and her family. Inheritance disputes have brought Phoebe's warring relations to descend on the home Phoebe and her sister are visiting, and the arguments soon lead to murder.

Lady Phoebe and Eva are compelling and strong characters, and their
Becky Tatar
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Lady Phoebe, her sister Lady Julia, their maids Eva and Myra have been invited by Phoebe & Julia's cousin Regina, to her new house. Also there is increasingly obnoxious friend Olive. Taking place in England in 1919, the Great War is only just over, and there are rumblings about the revolution in Russia, the assassination of the Tsar and his family, and changes in society. Regina's family comes to see her, acrimoniously, since she inherited her father's fortune, leaving the entail with very ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.75 stars

This historical cozy series, featuring an upstairs-downstairs amateur sleuthing team of a Lady and her maid, has much to recommend it. The characters are quite nicely drawn, and the plotting and pacing is well done. The whole notion of this fraternization between classes seems very unlikely, but it doesn't stop this from being a rollicking good read if you are willing to set the plausibility of it all aside.

Lady Phoebe, her sister Julia, and her lady's maid Eva are visiting their
This was the first book I had read in the series and I didn't feel like I needed to have read the previous books. Even knowing that Phoebe Renshaw and her maid Eva Huntford have solved two previous mysteries, it still felt like I was able to get to know the characters without a lot of info dumping.
This time Phoebe and her sister Julia have been invited to their cousin's. She's just bought a new house and wants Phoebe and Julia to visit. But it is a very odd sort of meeting. The cousin has now
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I appreciated the fact that where and where this cozy mystery takes place is stated at the beginning of the book, so I didn’t have to wonder and find out after three hundred pages. Although the story, that takes place in an English county estate in 1919, resembles English murder mysteries written eighty to hundred years ago, being slow-paced with a linear story line, it doesn’t describe the physical and the political environment or the culture of that certain era in detail. Being a cozy mystery, ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
We are in England and World War I is over. Two ladies along with their ladies maids go for a visit at their cousins new acquired estate. They aren’t there long before the first of two murders take place. Lady Phoebe and her ladies maid start the snooping as the book centers around their investigation and ultimate solving of the crime.
Good character development – you like or dislike the characters and have a familiar feeling as you read. Good uncomplicated and not overly detailed writing.
I was
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked this one better than #2 in the series as the setting was more interesting as were the characters, both the likable and unlikeable ones. As is usual for Maxwell, the plotting was well done and complicated enough and the clues well hidden and yet out in the open. The two main characters. Lady Phoebe and Eva are well-drawn and we learn a little bit more about Phoebe's elder sister Julia, who heretofore has been rather unlikeable. Now we learn some reasons why. As much as the mystery the ...more
Crystal Toller
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Gray
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful historical cozy - and don't worry if you haven't read the first two as this works just fine as a standalone (although you'll find yourself wanting to spend more time with Maxwell's characters.). Phoebe and Eva are one dynamic duo. A lady's maid is such an archaic convention for us but she was critical in 1919 Britain. That the lady and her maid team up to solve murders, well, that's just a terrific idea. This time around you'll learn a bit about inheritance, which is at the core of ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
England after World War I was a place of upheaval and rapid social change. The peerage was losing its hold on the rest of the country and often falling into hard times, even bankruptcy. A Devious Death follows one such family as they squabble over inheritances, even driving someone to murder. The Brockhurst family, headed by Lord Mandeville, are Lady Phoebe Renshaw's cousins, and Phoebe, her sister Julia, and their lady's maids have travelled to visit Regina Brockhurst, who has just inherited ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was really entertained by Alyssa Maxwell's book, A Devious Death. It is the third book in her Lady & Maid Mystery series. Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her sister, Julia go to visit their cousin, Regina, at her new estate--High Head Lodge. Not long into their stay, Regina is found dead with a dragonfly pin sticking in the base of her skull! There is no shortage of suspects: Regina's friend--Olive, her brother, her mother, her sister-in-law, and various servants. I thought I had figured out the ...more
I love the relationship between Eva and the Renshaw sisters. In this installment, we get to learn more about Constable Miles and, though Owen Seabright was present only via phone, odds are good he will appear in the next adventure. Sadly, it was difficult to muster much sympathy for any of Phoebe's cousin's family--they were singularly disagreeable people, with the possible exception of Regina. In some ways, this story reminded me of many if the elements in the Miss Fisher mystery series--of ...more
LInda L
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have read one of the previous Lady/Lady's Maid mysteries -- don't remember which one, but I remember that I liked it. Also liked this one quite a lot -- actually like Eva better than Phoebe, but both are delightful. Julia seems like a bitch, but I don't know all of her story. This book had some awful people in it; both Lady Mandevilles, Olive (who got better), Hastings, Stanley (the bad maid), and so on and so on. Lots of head bashing in this one, plus a murder-by-hatpin, of all things. ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
August, 1919 - Lady Phoebe and her sister Lady Julia Renshaw, together with Lady Phoebe’s confidant and lady maid, Eva Huntford, are off to visit their cousin Regina Brockhurst to help design her new purchase, High Head Lodge. Think of anything that could possibly go wrong and there you have the basis of this entertaining, quick read. Having read and enjoyed the second in this series, A Pinch of Poison I happily returned to the the adventures of Ms. Maxwell’s characters and look forward to the ...more
Sisters Lady Julia and Lady Phoebe are invited to visit their cousin Regina, who has just bought an estate for herself. How did she amass enough money? They soon learn that their uncle had left his entire estate to his daughter, ignoring the claims of his wife and his son. When Regina is found murdered, there are plenty of motives to go around. Fortunately, Phoebe's lady's maid Eva is on hand, as is her beau, police constable Miles. Unfortunately, Julia's new maid creates more problems than Eva ...more
An enjoyable historical mystery set shortly after WWI. It is reminiscent of an Upstairs/Downstairs drama without a whole lot of downstairs in this story because there aren't that many servants involved. It also includes accurate historical social concerns of the time and the timeless tensions between siblings. There are plenty of suspects to keep you guessing and, as in real life, not everyone gets their just deserts but the culprit is caught.

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Alyssa Maxwell is the author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries, inspired by her husband’s family whose Newport origins date back numerous generations. The series features the glamour of the Gilded Age and a sleuth who is a Newporter born and raised, and also a less "well-heeled" cousin of the Vanderbilt family. Alyssa also writes A Lady & Lady’s Maid Mysteries, an English-set series that begins ...more

Other books in the series

A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery (5 books)
  • Murder Most Malicious (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery, #1)
  • A Pinch of Poison (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery, #2)
  • A Murderous Marriage (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #4)
  • A Silent Stabbing (A Lady & Lady's Maid Mystery #5)