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Bright Young Dead

(Mitford Murders #2)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,180 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Meet the Bright Young Things, the rabblerousing hedonists of the 1920s whose treasure hunts were a media obsession. One such game takes place at the 18th birthday party of Pamela Mitford, but ends in tragedy as cruel, charismatic Adrian Curtis is pushed to his death from the church neighbouring the Mitford home.

The police quickly identify the killer as a maid,
Paperback, 388 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Hachette Australia (first published 2018)
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Jessica Fellowes November, I believe! Apologies for the slow reply. x

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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  1,180 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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This is the second in The Mitford Murders series by Jessica Fellowes, but I found it worked perfectly fine as a standalone. Set in the 1920s, it captures the era with the heady dance clubs, flapper girls, jazz and the hedonistic behaviour of the young society aristocrats, out to have a good time, experimenting with drugs, determined to break out of the staid social circles and rules of their parents generation. They are the 'Bright Young Things', making a huge splash in the media with their famo ...more
It was 1925 when Pamela Mitford had her 18th birthday party, with the ending culminating in a treasure hunt, organized by Adrian Curtis. Arrogant, a young man who used sarcasm as a cruel weapon, his sister Charlotte was the only person who admired him. Others thought he was handsome; were drawn to him – but they didn’t like him. It was when, in the early hours of the morning, after the adults had retired to bed and Louisa Cannon, chaperone and maid to Pamela and her sisters, let Dulcie, maid and ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very good whodunnit. Jessica Fellowes has created a murder mystery centring on the Mitford family and their home, and some of Nancy’s friends who are mixed up in London’s 1920s drug scene, illegal drinking clubs and prostitution. Alice Diamond, ‘Queen of the Forty Thieves’, seems an unlikely character but she was a real person who ran a gang of female shoplifters. The murder itself is fictitious but many of the characters and the historical detail are not.

Fellowes has clearly done
I almost tossed this one aside after the first 40 pages. I just had a really hard time getting into this with all the characters thrown into the story at once-it was a jumble for a little bit until I could sort them out. I felt similes were overused to illustrate the scene or emotions-it got so that they were distracting from the story since I was noticing them so much. As for the actual story, prior to reading this book, I had no idea the Mitfords were a real family (as were Alice Diamond and h ...more
Shawn Bird
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've heard that British public quickly can identify an American pretender. And here we have one- a book that is set in 1920's England, but is so obviously written by an American who doesn't care about accurate representation, that it is painful, even to me and I'm not British.

1st clue: turkey at Christmas. No. No. No. That'd be goose.
2nd clue: the family drives a Chrysler. No. That'd be a Bentley, a Rolls Royce, Morgan, McLaren, but highly unlikely to be a Chrysler.
3rd cl
Janet Brown
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first in this series, The Mitford Murders, far more that I expected. If you're expecting an impeccably accurate account of either the Mitford family or of life generally at the turn of the 1920s, you'll be disappointed. But I went into it expecting it to be silly and inaccurate, and instead found it a greatly entertaining page-turner (but also, yes, inaccurate and somewhat silly, if with a properly tense and surprising dénouement).

Because of this, I had high hopes for Bright Young
Elaine Tomasso
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for an advance copy of Bright Young Dead, the second novel to feature Louisa Cannon, nursery maid to the Mitford family.

It is 1925 and the second eldest Mitford sister, Pamela, is preparing for her 18th birthday party at the family home. Her elder sister, Nancy, has invited some of her friends to join them, the so called Bright Young Things whose hedonistic lifestyle appals their elders. To make events more interesting t
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s an okay read. I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first of the series. At the end there is the suggestion of a change in Louisa’s life; so that could mean an interesting aspect in subsequent books.
Johanna Svensson
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was really tempted to give this book just one star, but since I managed to finish it I suppose I should be a bit more generous. But I didn't care for the book at all, I thought it was a bit of a mess with interwoven storylines that didn't make a lot of sense, and the conclusion was confusing. I quite liked the first book, but I didn't think the real Mitfords really made a difference to the storyline, a theme which continues with this sequal. They really could be any fictional family, since the ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, arcs
An enjoyable read, weaving in the lives of the Mitfords and their eldest daughter Nancy's social set, and that of Louisa, their maid (and her policeman friend Guy). I have always loved the Mitfords, particularly since I read Nancy's The Pursuit of Love, so this series really appealed to me. It's also written by Jessica Fellowes who has written several books about Downton Abbey too.

Whilst this is the 2nd in the series, it can easily be read standalone although I think some of the colo
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this series and have read all three over the last few weeks and now I've caught up! I'm not sure how I'm going to manage without my regular fix of Louisa, Gus and the Mitford girls, each of whom is both fascinating and appalling (in different ways). I know Asthall and the church where some of this book is set and so that certainly adds something extra to its appeal for me but, regardless of that, I find these books completely immersive and enthralling. Set in the mid 1920s, this book cap ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Wonderful light mystery with a downright stunning cover
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved it
Carolyn Crocker
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This serviceable Agatha Christie-esque mystery (#2)
rings the usual changes on class, the Twenties, and country-house murder, with the addition of working class sleuths Louisa, the maid/chaperone and her love-interest Sgt. Guy Sullivan. Using the Downton Abbey vibe and the mythologized Mitford family is shorthand for shabby aristocracy and outre ideas that almost any reader can fill in.

“Guy was grinning as if he’d just opened his Christmas stocking and found it contained real gold c
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
The Mitford sisters, along with their chaperone Louisa, are at it again! When Adrian Curtis is killed at Pamela's birthday dance and an innocent (well, sort of, lol!) maid is accused of the crime, Louisa sets out to discover the identity of the real killer. Along the way she crosses paths with the famous Alice Diamond and her Forty Thieves, as well as Sergeant Guy Sullivan who we met in The Mitford Murders. A nice mystery, fast paced, with some real history thrown in for color. Quite enjoyable! ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delightful 1925 murder mystery set partly in London, partly in a country manor about an hour outside of London by train, we have hedonistic young riche mixed with a London police detective who may or may not love the governess of the Mitford house but is too busy chasing down the terrible thriving Forty to have time to devote to his personal life. Whew! And that’s just one string of the story.

One of the young and perhaps not so carefree set is found dead in the adjoining church graveyard at 1
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jessica Fellowes ventures below stairs to solve a country house murder in Bright Young Dead.
As in 2017's The Mitford Murders, the main protagonist is Louisa Cannon. She is nurserymaid, chaperone and amateur sleuth. Fellowes has done her homework in evoking the period well. The Mitford sisters are captured before their notoriety, wanting to break free from the strictures of Farve and Muv. At every opportunity there is a trip up to London for a party or shopping trip.
The murder this ti
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bright Young Dead" by Jessica Fellowes, Minotaur Books, 400 pages, Oct. 30, 2018.

It is 1925 and Pamela Mitford is about to turn 18. Her older sister, Nancy, convinces their parents to hold a costume party for the birthday.

Nancy and her friends are known as the Bright Young Things. They organize a treasure hunt for late night after the party. Louise Cannon, who works for the Mitfords and at times serves as Pamela's chaperone, becomes friends with Dulcie Long, a maid in another house
Lel Budge
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is the second novel in The Mitford Murders series by Jessica Fellowes.

This is set in the 1920s and captures the period with dancing and Jazz clubs, flapper girls and the young aristocrats having fun.

These young people were a media sensation at the time with famous treasure hunts, showing off their excesses.

Louisa Cannon works for the Mitford family in Oxfordshire and is often a chaperone to the Mitford girls. Louisa finds herself in the exciting gaudy world of Nancy
Jo-anne Atkinson
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Louisa Cannon is now firmly ensconced with the Mitfords as maid to the girls. However when she takes pity on a fellow maid Louisa opens the door to tragedy at the Mitford country house. Louisa believes her friend to be innocent but connections with a ruthless gang based in South London mean Louisa and the Mitfords may well be exposed to danger.
There is a line of fact in this story in that there were some notorious gangs in operation in South London in the 1920s including the Forty Thieves
Jane Shibilski
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very fascinating and historically correct “cozy” mystery. I emphasized the cozy because this was as complex as any spy thriller and at the same time entertaining yet with that unputdownable quality that is the hallmark of a very well written novel. However, I left off a star for two reasons. The first being the time element that comes into play with the solving of the murder. It was almost a bit too complex as I had to reread the portion explaining the time difference on the clock and I’m stil ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The second in the Mitford Murder Mystery series, based very loosely on a real life English family. Nancy Mitford invites a group of "bright young things" to her sister Pamela's 17th birthday. The group plans a treasure hunt - all the rage among wealthy young socialites in 1920s London. One of guests is pushed to his death from the bell tower of a church near the Mitford home. A maid is arrested and charged with the murder but the Mitford chaperone, Louisa Cannon, sets out to clear the maid and f ...more
Jessica Fellowes returns with new mystery featuring our heroine, Louisa Cannon, a maid and chaperone to the Mitford children. In Bright Young Dead, readers are introduced to the phenomenon of a certain group of you people in the 1920's know as "bright young things". They all love to dance, drink, and even use drugs, and most of them seemed to have the money to live this way full time. Nancy Mitford is entrenched amongst the Bright Young Things and is introducing her younger sister, Pamela, to th ...more
Brian Harrison
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The second book in a Mitford Murders series, which continuous with the same main characters from Book 1. A slightly complicated plot involving a large group of twenty somethings, a gang of female thieves and other dastardly goings on, in the period of the 1920`s.
Overall, an easy read, and a compulsive page turner, but for me, the story did not seem quite plausible enough, although this was based on historical facts; Alice Diamond and her notorious gang did exist, as did Lord De Clifford an
Bianca Visagie
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read the full review at

This book is filled with the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, completely pulling you in and making you forget that you live in 2018. The book has a subtle way of teaching you the decorum of the time, and soon you find yourself transported to a completely different time – yet you still feel right at home. The writing was effortless, even though the pace was a little slow for my liking.

The plot also could have been a little tighter, with fewer characters to kee
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This book takes place during the Roaring 20s. The narrator is Louisa Cannon, chaperone to the Mitford girls and a former criminal. Nancy Mitford is old enough to go out on her own and has joined a group of "bright young things" who enjoy spending time partying in London. Pamela Mitford is turning 18 soon and Louisa is accompanying her to some of Nancy's parties. For Pamela's 18th birthday party, the group decides to have a treasure hunt. During the treasure hunt, the leader of the group, Adrian ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fast and fun read, nothing to deep. Something for a cold winter day like we have them right now.
I however googled the real Mitford Sisters after finishing this book ( I was not aware that they were really beforehand) and was a bit shocked. Three of the six sister and Tom seemed to be facist with ties to the Nazis, two of them being close to Adolf Hitler.
This kinda irks me the wrong way as they are not pictured negatively in anyway in this book and for me it feels wrong to sympat
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

I read the first book in the Mitford Murders series last year and I adored it so much that I just knew I would love Bright Young Things too. And I was right! These books are perfect reads for chilly, blustery nights and are classic murder mysteries at their best!

Fun fact, the books have been optioned to be made into a TV show by the producers of The Crown!

Thank you so much to Little Brown UK for sending me a free copy of Bright Young Dead
Marisa Collett
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like the first book in the series, the author created an interesting blend of fact and fiction. The biggest downfall was I feel that the author put too much information in the begining, then it sort of dragged in the middle. It made keeping track of crucial character descriptions and movements difficult. Also, seeing sweet, curious Nancy turn into a sassy back talking Flapper was sad. However, the true background of this story was so interesting and I loved the ending. I will give the next book ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who killed Adrian Curtis, one of the ‘bright young things’ (and a total jerk)? Using the real life Mitford family, famous for being rich and later famous for their very right wing politics, this mystery is set in 1925 when Nancy, the oldest sister is only 21 and her closest sister Pamela is just turning 18. A treasure hunt at the end of Pamela’s birthday party ends with Adrian’s murder. Of course one of the visiting servants is charged and it looks as if the case is closed. This is the second i ...more
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Mitford Murders (3 books)
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