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Lady Helena Investigates

(Scott-De Quincy Mysteries #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,884 ratings  ·  319 reviews
A reluctant lady sleuth finds she’s investigating her own family.

Step into Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world with the first novel in a series that will blend family saga and mystery-driven action with a slow-burn romance in seven unputdownable investigations.

1881, Sussex. Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage to Sir Justin Whitcombe, three years before, gave new purpose to a
ebook, 391 pages
Published March 14th 2018 by Aspidistra Press
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Jane Why doesn't Goodreads tell me when people leave questions? Anyway, the answer is sometime in 2019, I hope. I'm not a particularly fast writer! …moreWhy doesn't Goodreads tell me when people leave questions? Anyway, the answer is sometime in 2019, I hope. I'm not a particularly fast writer! (less)

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Feb 15, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Don't think it's cheating to add my own book to my reading challenge...given that the reason I don't have enough time for reading these days is that I've read this puppy ONE THOUSAND TIMES. At least, it feels like it. ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am a sucker for a good historical mystery series and I think I have found another one although only the first book has been written yet.

Lady Helena Investigates takes place in Regency England and the author handles the attitudes and the way of life at that time really well. The Lady Helena of the title is young and recently widowed and much of the story deals with how she struggles to remain independent from her big and busy family.

The mystery is the death of her husband and she is ably assis
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars) It's hard to imagine that we really need another Regency or Victorian woman of the peerage running around solving mysteries in her very own series. After all, there's already Lady Julia Grey (Deanna Raybourn), Lady Emily (Tasha Alexander), Lady Darby (Anna Lee Huber), Lady Arianna Hadley (Andrea Penrose), Lady Katherine (Leighann Dobbs), and Lady Monfort (Tessa Arlen), to name just a few. And that doesn't count the female sleuths that are just plain Miss or Mrs.

But now let's add on L
“I wonder – do we ever really know other people? Even those you see daily can have hidden lives.”

The book’s opening chapters provide helpful scene setting as recent tragic events in Lady Helena’s life are revealed and the reader is introduced to her extensive family. The death of her husband has turned Lady Helena’s life upside down. As well as the loss of a dearly-loved companion, as a widow her horizons are now severely constrained by the expectations of society. Not just expected to wear somb
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I stumbled on this book and thought it would make a good Summer read; and it did. I'm glad I picked it up.
This isn't so much a murder mystery as a maturing of self, family and society. At the start of this story, Helena is newly widowed, sheltered throughout her life and had no thought about her individuality, likes, dislikes or anything personal. Throughout this novel, Helena struggles to find her way and, in the process, finds herself on the path to independence. An interesting process. Set in
Jane Steen is a new to me author, so when I won a copy of Lady Helena Investigates, I really had no expectations for it. It seemed like something I might like, and as it turns out, I did like it quite a lot.

The Scott-De Quincy family is an old, aristocratic family. Helena, regrettably called "Baby" by her older sisters, is the sixth daughter in a rather spread out family of seven siblings, older only than her brother Michael, the much anticipated male heir. Because of the huge gaps in their age
Ooops, I have been remiss in marking this one as read and rating it. I quite enjoyed this mystery, and it kept me guessing and looking forward to more as the widowed and wealthy Lady Helena is looking ahead to life on her own terms and lots of money to do it in, plus maybe a romance in the future?

This is a very solid, enjoyable novel. The type of cozy mystery that you can curl up with on a rainy day, and have a nice time. I’m hoping the author continues this story in some way. And I may even read some of her other novels, soon!
3.5 stars, and recommended to anyone who loves Victoriana.
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
2.5 stars; more of a historical slow burn romance than a mystery. I would recommend this book to those who like slow burn romances and historical fiction surrounding English aristocracy; I likely would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not been expecting a murder mystery.

Lady Helena Investigates is a well written tale from the point of view of Helena, an aristocratic widow in 1881 England, shortly after the sudden and seemingly accidental death of her husband Justin. Jane Steen managed to capture
Kylie H
I really enjoyed this historical fiction mystery. Lady Helena finds herself a young, but wealthy widow struggling to prove to those around her, particularly her brother and older sisters, that she is capable of being independent and does not need to be married off again posthaste.
Through contact with the very handsome, but mysterious French physician Armand Fortier questions are raised as to whether her husbands sudden death was accidental or perhaps something more sinister. Helena finds her se
Alice 🌙
4/5 ⭐️
I enjoyed it. It could’ve maybe been a bit shorter imo
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven't enjoyed historical fiction this much in years. While I was once a voracious reader and watcher of all things period and historical romance, I've since abandoned it for fantasy and it's many sub-genres. This year I decided to pick up historical titles again, which led me to Historical Fiction Book Tours and Jane Steen's Lady Helena Investigates.

From the beginning, Steen paints the era and imagery of the English countryside in beautiful shades, yet with air of mystery. I found it easy to
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
When we first meet Lady Helena of Lady Helena Investigates, she has just lost her beloved husband, Sir Justin Whitcombe. Her brothers and sisters have begun inserting themselves in her life and planning her future. When she meets her husband's physician, Armand Fortier, she is shocked to learn that the doctor thinks her husband was murdered. There is another mystery involving the tenant farmers on her estate ... and she is beginning studying herbalism as well.

I love historical fiction and especi
Ivonne Rovira
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Imagine Silent in the Grave had been written with Lady Julia Grey as an easily bullied and extremely naïve young woman, one who cannot even stand up to her baby brother or a haranguing, fault-finding elder sister. Further imagine that talented author Deanna Rayburn had substituted a forgettable French doctor for the mercurial inquiry agent (and much more) Nicholas Brisbane. Leach out all the humor and charm and substitute a pretty lackluster mystery with plotting that drags a bit for the suspens ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Do you realize... that the truth has come to light with very little investigative effort on my part?

And that is exactly how I feel about this book. In Lady Helena's defense, Im not really sure what this was all about, either. Or why it's literally called Lady Helena Investigates when she doesn't do that. It all is just kind of... happening to her. This book feels aimless and is therefore boring.

Its a shame they wasted such great cover art.

On top of the "non-mystery mystery" aspects, we hav

I had two main thoughts upon turning the final page and finishing this book. First, the writing style feels absolutely characteristic with what I've come to associate with Jane Steen. Quietly meticulous, thoroughly researched social mores and values, and with a focus on those social nuances and relationships to drive the plot. I compared Steen to Jane Austen once - what I meant at the time was that both write with a focus on the details of polite society life - which for some creates a sublime,
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sussex, 1881. Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world is about to be turned on its head. Following the tragic death of her husband, Lady Helena must contend with her condescending older sisters and her controlling little brother who is eager to assert his role as “Head of the family.” If this wasn't enough, she must also face the doubts raised by the mysterious Frenchman, Dr. Fortier. Was her husband's death an accident or was it murder? Over the course of her year of mourning, Lady Helena must find her p ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ongoing-series
I enjoyed this introductory book to the forthcoming Lady Helena series. The characters were entertaining and I look forward to following them in future installments.

Lady Helena is newly widowed and surrounded by a multitude of older siblings (it's a bit difficult to keep track of them all at first), who all have advice for her. I liked that although she somewhat resents their influence at times, she mostly maintains warm family ties with them and communicates with them in a way that increases th
Cherry London
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lady Helena having recently lost her husband had to come to grips with life and what it had to offer her, she was willingly allowing the rest of her family to treat her as a child. She needed to grow some backbone to deal with her brother was trying his best to ride rough shoes over her. She was a bit naive on somethings until the death of her tenant farmer and her eyes and intellect truly became awakened to certain knowledge. To think the helping his daughter was going against her family, and t ...more
N.N. Light
Lady Helena discovers her husband's body floating in the river and soon she investigating her own family. All families have secrets but it appears hers are much more deadly. A delightful Regency mystery I loved from the first page. If Jane Austen had written mysteries, this is what she would've written. Highly recommend and can't wait to read more from this author.

My Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved-it
10 stars! I was captivated from the 1st page. The characters all have such depth, and the writing and pacing are flawless. There is no telling her, this is a skilled writer that has the story flow of every page. The setting, the relationships and paradox between servant and masters were amazingly outlined. I couldn't put the book down and read it in one afternoon. Now I have to wait and wait for the 2nd book. It is an auto buy for me! ...more
Camille Wilson
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the ensemble of multifaceted characters in this Victorian cozy mystery and the twists and turns of Lady Helena's life. Smart, well-written prose is another plus of this novel. Looking forward to the next installment of the irrepressible, insightful Lady Helena Whitcombe and her mysterious French gentleman physician, Armand Fortier. ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the moment I started reading this book I could see that Lady Helena was going to face all manner of challenges, not the least of them coming from her own family. Author Jane Steen has done an excellent job of depicting life in nineteenth century England with all its social mores, class differences and prejudices. Unfortunately for Lady Helena, she frequently finds herself at odds with the expectations of both her family and the small rural community in which she lives.
With characters that f
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to Netgalley and Aspidistra Press for allowing me to have early access to this book

This is the first book in the series which follows Lady Helena after the burial of her second husband, Sir Justin Whitcome whose death seems to be due to an accidental drowning after trying to rescue one of his sheep that is trapped in the lake.

However Armand Fortier (French physician) suspects there is foul play surrounding Justin's death and presents his theory to Lady Helena after it was not believed
Connie Huddleston
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recently, I downloaded the Kindle version of Jane Steen’s “Lady Helena Investigates” simple because I was in need of some light reading for adults. As you may know, I read a lot of middle grade and YA fiction. I enjoy historical fiction and good mysteries, especially when the characters are well written. Steen not only created a good mystery, the death of Lady Helena’s husband, she also created characters—a bunch of them—that seemed to jump off the page. I found myself squeezing reading time int ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lady Helena Investigates is my first introduction to Jane Steen's work. I am now a new fan! I loved this book. It is full of adventure, action, mystery, suspense and intriguing historical details. After reading it, I found myself buying more books to read by this author. Can not wait to read them.
Highly recommend!
5 plus stars.
I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Ruth Chatlien
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite enjoyable. I am hoping to read more of Lady Helena's investigations. The fact that she's learning to be an herbalist holds out the promise for an interesting series. ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I thought there would me more "investigations" I loved the book and found it informative for place and time. ...more
This sounded like a great Victorian-era mystery with a strong female main character - and it was that. But it turned out to be a great deal MORE than just that, and I found myself unexpectedly, and pleasantly surprised several times as I read it and this turned out to be an excellent read!

First off, Lady Helena turns out to be a much more multi-faceted character than the reader might initially see her as being. She has depths, and capabilities that far out-distance her family's nickname of "Baby
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ongoing-series
Thank you to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Lady Helena is the youngest daughter of a large family. Her sisters are all much older than her and still call her 'baby'. So when her loving husband unexpectedly dies, Lady Helena is not overly surprised that most of her family think they can once again tell her how to live her life. Soon after the inquest, her husband's doctor informs her that the death may not have been an accident. These facts set the s
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