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Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #3

And Dangerous to Know

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When the ladies of the ton of Regency London need discreet assistance, they turn to Rosalind Thorne—in these mysteries inspired by the novels of Jane Austen . . .
Trust is a delicate thing, and no one knows that better than Rosalind Thorne. Lady Melbourne has entrusted her with recovering a packet of highly sensitive private letters stolen from her desk. The contents of these letters hold great interest for the famous poet Lord Byron, who had carried on a notorious public affair with Lady Melbourne's daughter-in-law, the inconveniently unstable Lady Caroline Lamb. Rosalind is to take up residence in Melbourne House, posing as Lady Melbourne's confidential secretary. There, she must discover the thief and regain possession of the letters before any further scandal erupts.
However, Lady Melbourne omits a crucial detail. Rosalind learns from the Bow Street runner, Adam Harkness, that an unidentified woman was found dead in the courtyard of Melbourne House. The coroner has determined she was poisoned. Adam urges Rosalind to use her new position in the household to help solve the murder. As she begins to untangle a web of secrets and blackmail, Rosalind finds she must risk her own life to bring the desperate business to an end . . .

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 31, 2019

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About the author

Darcie Wilde

11 books421 followers
Darcie Wilde is a pseudonym for Sarah Zettel, author of mysteries, science fiction, romance and Young Adult fiction, including the New York Times Notable Book Fool’s War and the bestselling Rosalind Thorne mysteries A Useful Woman. She also writes under the names Delia James, Sarah Zettel, Jennifer Hawkins C. L. Anderson and Marissa Day.

Darcie writes her classically styled (not to mention stylish) mysteries as well as adventurous romances from a university town in a certain northern-midwestern state that has been known to bear some passing resemblance to a mitten. When not writing, she’s reading, cooking, hiking, swimming, climbing things, embroidering other things, raising her rapidly growing son and trying to convince her cat — Buffy the Vermin Slayer — not to do any further damage to the furniture.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 168 reviews
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books325 followers
February 19, 2020
When a mystery series is introduced with such words as, “…inspired by the novels of Jane Austen”, you may be sure that I will be more than willing to delve right in with alacrity. Wilde created a capable heroine who was high born, fallen with her family’s disgrace, and risen by her own resolution and strength as a useful woman to those who were once her peers and what began with curiosity continues to impress with deep appreciation for her spirit and intelligence.

And Dangerous to Know is so titled to best suit one of the intriguing real historical elements of this third installment in the Rosalind Thorne series which works best read in order. In this latest, Rosalind is involved with ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ Lord Byron, indirectly. While never actually present, he can be felt throughout the book.

Rosalind has recovered from her last encounter with murder and peacefully keeping up her prodigious amounts of correspondence, her household affairs, and trying to help her friend Alice figure out where Alice’s brother George has been disappearing to each evening. Meanwhile, she ponders the affairs of her conflicted heart- a duke or a detective.

This is all interrupted when an imperious summons brings her to the august doors of Melbourne House and she encounters its notorious mistress, Lady Melbourne, and her more notorious daughter in law, Lady Caroline Lamb. Lady Melbourne has letters written by Lord Byron that have gone missing and they are such that ruin for several will happen if they are ever published or the contents bandied about. Rosalind has a bad feeling about the whole thing, but when Lady Jersey recommended her and another society queen wishes to hire her, there is only one answer to give.
When she goes home to retrieve her things to stay at Melbourne House pretending to be Lady M’s social secretary, Adam Harkness arrives with an even grimmer commission, but oddly related because a body was delivered to Bow Street and it had come from Melbourne House. Adam can’t get inside and investigate such aristocratic people, but Rosalind can. She agrees to help him.

The investigation is complicated by more people knowing about Byron’s letters than at first thought and all of them having strong motives to take them. No one claims to know anything about a visiting nurse’s disappearance save the laudanum-crazed Lady Caroline and the doctor who hides his grief over the loss.
Adam plans to back Rosalind up and follow up on his end of the investigation when a jealous superior pulls him off the case and puts him on another while directing Adam to accept social invitations to hobnob with the upper classes. He claims Adam’s star is on the rise and he’s trying to help him. Adam just wants to do his job and doesn’t appreciate the interference, but he has to be careful because his career is on the line and the supervisor already doesn’t like Rosalind since she was crucial in solving past cases. He has to make sure she is safe since he feels her put her into danger investigating such a powerful family and she means a great deal more to him than she should since there is a class difference. Rosalind will find a way through it all if anyone can.

And Dangerous to Know pulled me right back into Rosalind’s regency world where wealth and splendor are veneer for true human nature and motives. There is grit and grime to these stories and not just palatial homes and glittering balls.
The main characters are vulnerable and flawed people as well as gifted at what they do. Rosalind gets the bulk of the narration with Adam the close second, but there are also snippets from other major players so the reader gets a multi-faceted story. There are complexities to each character that make them as mysterious as the main plot.
The blend of fiction and real life is seamless and it is fun to see how the author chooses to fill in the details of what can only be guessed at when it comes to the characters. I’ve read a biography of Lord Byron and read some of his poetry, which sorry, wasn’t my thing, so I could appreciate what the author did with the real life personages in this story especially Lady Caroline and her husband, William Lamb. I thought the author’s balance between sympathetic and wanton was just the right touch.

The mystery kept me guessing until the final clues fell into place. I had that moment when the light bulb lit and I felt I should have seen the truth before and was as distracted as Rosalind about where the facts were leading which is always fun in a mystery.

The ending felt rushed and left me somewhat dazed. I still had a few questions once the dust settled. After being introduced to all those characters, I would have liked their responses when the truth was revealed and not just a couple.
However, I can’t claim deep disappointment since I finished with a strong desire to have the next book in my hands. There are definitely a couple plot threads that are meant to carry over into the next book.

All in all, it was another smashing success in the series and I can’t recommend it enough to those who enjoy a more authentic historical backdrop, complex female lead, whiff of romance, and cunning mystery.

I rec'd a copy of this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susan in NC.
842 reviews
February 5, 2020
I love this Regency-set historical mystery series, but this was not my favorite outing.

Rosalind Thorne is a lady in reduced circumstances who has fashioned a rather unique niche for herself in the ton. She provides the great and good her services as a planner of social events, solver of delicate “problems” (messy, embarrassing stuff that can ruin reputations - like compromising letters), and by being generally “useful”. Rosalind is a great character.

I also like the other returning characters, like her dear friends Alice and George Littlefield, who’ve also weathered family disaster and reinvented themselves as newspaper reporters; Mrs. Kendricks, her thoroughly unflappable housekeeper; and Adam Harkness, a Bow Street Runner she has worked with previously, and with whom she shares an obvious, though of course, unstated attraction.

One of the underlying conflicts in this book was, would Rosalind continue her work, maintaining her independence, and possibly pursue a relationship with Adam, or would she take up the marriage offer made to her by Devin, her first love as a young girl, who has re-entered her life as the Duke of Casselmain, and could return her to the station t0 which she had been born? Readers are left hanging - Rosalind is heading to a friend’s wedding in the country, at the duke’s estate, where we assume Devin will court her.

That was not my problem with this mystery - indeed, the romantic conflict was handled subtly, and did not interfere with the rest of the plot. I just had a hard time navigating the Byzantine social machinations and multi-layered conversations Rosalind was constantly forced to navigate. It was draining, and I wasn’t always sure what was actually being implied - I don’t know how Rosalind does it!

A woman is found dead in the grounds of Melbourne House in London. Harkness is called to try and learn her identity, and who poisoned her; his work converges with Rosalind’s latest case - she has been asked to stay at Melbourne House and recover some compromising letters stolen from the formidable, socially powerful Lady Melbourne’s desk. Also involved are her son, William Lamb, her detested daughter-in-law, Lady Caroline, grandson Augustus, and the notorious Lord Byron (although we don’t actually meet him, he is in exile in Europe).

I’m not sure if my confusion was rooted in being unfamiliar with the Melbourne House crowd, beyond being aware Lady Caroline had a scandalous affair with Byron, and was thought to be mad; or with forgetting some of the character developments from the last book (a problem I often have with favorite authors who publish a book a year).

I very much enjoy the characters, dialogue, attention to historical detail - I have no complaints about the writing, it is just the elaborate conversations and verbal sparring Rosalind has with just about every character, whether Lady Melbourne, Caroline, or the suspected blackmailers. Natural, I guess, for a mystery revolving around blackmail and stolen letters - so many secrets, so much deceit! I felt sorry for Rosalind at the end, she was exhausted, and understandably so; she solved the murder, but had really been through the mill trying to sort through all the secrets and lies.

I look forward to the next book in the series to see where this author takes these wonderful characters next.
Profile Image for QNPoohBear.
2,918 reviews1,469 followers
January 16, 2020
When the body of an unidentified woman is brought to Bow Street, Principal Officer Adam Harkness is concerned because the woman was found in the courtyard of Melbourne House. Lady Melbourne is one of the highest sticklers of the ton and will not take kindly to Bow Street asking questions. Thankfully, Adam knows the one person who can ask important questions to find out the woman's identity and who killed her. Little does Adam know, Rosalind Thorne has just accepted a position at Melbourne House to help Lady Melbourne find a packet of missing letters. The letters belong to the notorious Lord Byron, now living in exile, and would cause a huge scandal if made public, which is what Lady Melbourne fears. Lady Melbourne's "mad" daughter-in-law, Lady Caroline, had a passionate affair with Byron that ended badly and caused a scandal. Lady Melbourne would do anything to protect her family and her son's political ambitions. He claims his wife doesn't have the letters and Lady Melbourne believes him. Rosalind isn't so sure. She's certain someone or all of them are lying to her. She's wary of Lady Melbourne but determined to find justice for the unfortunate murder victim.

I am very much impressed with this novel. This series keeps getting better and better. The Regency setting felt very realistic and the murder made sense given the context of the time. There's a little bit of telling and a bit of repetitive dialogue to relay facts. I suppose one could figure out the murder easily enough but I really didn't. I only got it as Rosalind made her conclusion.

I love how real life people are a major part of the story. They feel very real. Of course I've heard about Caro Lamb, she of the dampened skirts, and the "mad, bad and dangerous to know" Lord Byron. This story put a different spin on Caroline's story, portraying her as an unconventional, misunderstood woman. She may have been mentally ill, she may have been just spoiled but no one can deny she was a good mother to her son Augustus, who had special needs. I found Caroline's relationship to her son in the story very touching and sweet. It's a different relationship than most Regency parents had with their children, especially children that weren't considered normal, like George Austen. Slowly I found Caroline to be a likable, flesh and blood woman instead of the crazy, wild woman she's normally made out to be. She becomes one of many women who didn't conform to society's expectations in this story and that makes the story very sad. There are a couple of minor inaccuracies in language usage but only minor.

Lady Melbourne is a super high stickler. She can make or break a woman's reputation and she isn't afraid to manipulate people to get what she wants. Lady Melbourne is ruthless and should be a politician herself. Her son William creeps me out a bit. Far from the fatherly Lord Melbourne in Victoria he is younger here and protective of his family. He loves his wife and his mother but if he feels someone is a threat, he will take care of it, I'm sure. I did not like how quick he was to accept a skewed version of the truth about Rosalind without checking with his mother or even asking her for an explanation first. He also gave me the creeps towards the end with his frank conversation with Rosalind.

Claridge, Lady Melbourne's ladies' maid is not happy with her lot in life, her position, the Melbourne House set, etc. etc. She's a complainer and a gossip! Yet I sense she is also fiercely loyal to her employer and would do anything to protect her ladyship. Mrs. Kendricks, Rosalind's housekeeper, has a lot to complain about but doesn't. She's steadfast and true. I really like her common sense, bravery and sense of loyalty. I suspect Mrs. Kendricks would like Claridge to be the killer. I would too. Her testimony about what happened when and where seems a bit off. She either knows more or less than she lets on.

Lord Byron has sent his friend Mr. Scrope Berdmore Davies to retrieve the letters from Lady Melbourne. Rosalind doesn't trust Mr. Davies. Davies, a dandy and known gambler, may already have the letters or may want the letters to extort money from Lady Melbourne. He isn't pleasant to deal with and I don't much like him but I do admire him for being a true friend to Byron. Davies is an annoyance but Fullerton is a real menace. He has a grudge against Rosalind for thwarting his blackmail scheme yet he isn't done lying and manipulating. I can see him being a ruthless killer. Dr. Bellingham is a minor, forgotten character. I don't have much faith in doctors of this period and Bellingham seems like a pompous fool and a wannabe social climber. I don't want him treating Lady Caroline! I want to go to Cornwall and get Dr. Enys to see her instead. Bellingham's treatments seem to make Caroline worse instead of better.

Dr. Bellingham was able to identify the victim as a Mrs. Judith Oslander, a nurse who sometimes worked with him. To Caroline, Mrs. Oslander was an evil woman, forcing medicine down Caroline's throat acting menacing and mean. To others, Mrs. Oslander provided comfort and peace of mind. She was neat, clean, efficient and really didn't deserve to die. She is an example of yet another woman who refused to behave and paid a terrible price.

Rosalind has come a long way in a short time. She's very mature and level-headed because she's had to be. She's also compassionate and caring. I like how she handles Lady Melbourne with firmness and how she knows how to deal with the pompous Bow Street Runner John Townsend. Rosalind is determined not to be cowed by anyone and to see justice done. I really admire her. I don't like the love triangle but I see where she's coming from. I think she enjoys her independence and probably won't choose Devon. Adam is a much better man yet not of her class. Adam isn't in the story much. He's removed from the case and put on a path to promotion. The fool Townsend can't see where Adam's passion and talent is- for catching thieves. Adam isn't interested in hobnobbing with the royals. Townsend assumes everyone is a social climber like him. Yet I think I can see that a promotion means the social gulf between Adam and Rosalind would shrink a bit! They have chemistry and they care a lot for each other but is it enough for Rosalind to give up everything she's been brought up to want and expect? (Please, yes!) I hope Adam opens up to his friend Gautier. I really like the easy-going French-African man and his relationship with his wife. Rosalind's friend Alice seems to know Rosalind's feelings but doesn't understand why Rosalind doesn't encourage Devon more. As an independent woman, Alice should understand but she doesn't have as much money or social credit as Rosalind and if she doesn't marry well, she could starve. I like her high spirits and determination. She's a good foil for Rosalind, who is very serious.

I hope there's a fourth book in this series. I am eager to see what problems Rosalind solves next.
53 reviews
January 8, 2020
Very disappointing. I did not appreciate the se of real historic figures as the lead characters. While the author attempted to cast suspicion on the members of the family, anyone knowing the history knew they were not murderers.
Also, by the third volume it's time to pick the hero.

Profile Image for Sarah.
508 reviews22 followers
December 24, 2019
After her father and sister abandoned the family after he destroyed their finances and after her mother passed a few years ago, Rosalind Thorne has been forced to make her own way living by her own wits as a 'gentlewoman of reduced circumstances.'

Recruited by Lady Jersey, Rosalind is called to the home of the prestigious Lady Melbourne to recover a bundle of sensitive correspondence that have been stolen from a locked desk drawer. In order to investigate Rosalind will need to stay on in Lady Melbourne's home posing as her own private secretary. Not only must she identify the thief, she must also track them down and return them to Lady Melbourne before they cause an irrepairable scandal.

Lady Melbourne is not giving Rosalind all the facts available. When Adam Harkness comes calling with the news of  an unknown woman found dead within the gates of Melbourne House, Rosalind will have to contend with the danger of not only posing as a member of staff in a powerful household and a blackmailer, but of an unknown murderer.

And Dangerous to Know is the third book in Darcy Wilde's Rosalind Thorne Mysteries series. Before I get to the actual review, I just want to mention that the covers for the books in this series are gorgeous.

I don't want to give away anything of the mystery, so I'll try to be vague. I was pretty sure that I knew who the villian was here but a few of the characters and the twisting of the plot left room for more than one red herring in the mix that will have you changing your mind more than once. I love a good mystery that will keep me guessing.

I adore regency mysteries and I love the historic tone of this series, the research is evident and pulls you in and immerses you in the story. The historical characters, like Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb, are woven into the story so nicely alongside the fictional ones. I found it very interesting that Wilde was able to give such a sense of these historical figures through only snippets of correspondence (which lead us into each chapter) and being talked about by the other characters. For example, we never actually meet Byron in this book, but you feel like you really get a sense of his character.

A lot of mysteries run the risk of having either no sense of danger or too much to the point that the mystery looses any sense of reality. But this series has a great balance of danger, especially for our main characters.

I'm not a fan of love triangles, but this one works... mostly because it is barely a love triangle. The men aren't competing to win the affections of one woman here, there just happen to be two men in her life. One that represents her past and another that represents her future. Rosalind and Devon share a history and affection. Adam and Rosalind share attraction and lifestyles. A future with Devon means a return to the life she was raised to and a future with Adam means a life with a man from the world in which she now lives and has built for herself. I certainly know where I stand on this matter and his name is Harkness.

I love Rosalind's character, she is clever and compassionate and I look forward to seeing what mystery she'll face next.. perhaps at the Casselmaine estate? This book ends with a nice transition to lead us into the next book in the series, which I am very much looking forward to. I recommend this book and the entire series to fans of recency mysteries. If you enjoy the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber, you'll love this series.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for sharing an eARC with me of And Dangerous to Know by Darcy Wilde. This is my honest review.
Profile Image for Jeannine.
446 reviews29 followers
May 30, 2022
I love these characters. I love the development of them and their relationships. The mysteries are interesting, but there are spots where things are unclear and I’m not certain if that’s supposed to be the case. These “why is this happening” moments happen as the conclusion nears, so I think it is by design, but it’s not like in some mysteries where a character checks/finds/asks something and the content is deliberately not revealed until a denouement. It’s more subtle and that might be what frustrates me.
Profile Image for Amy.
2,542 reviews381 followers
August 9, 2020
I find I did not "click" with this one as much as the first two--and I think the problem lies with the theme. The first book deals with a place (Almack's). The second with a political/social issue (divorce). This one deals with a particular scandal that rocked the Regency era (Lady Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron!). Instead of snip-its about the era, the chapters begin with out-of-context quotes from letters from the various players in the story.
I surprised myself by "enjoying" reading about Lady Caro, Lord Byron, Lady Melbourne, etc. Usually if I have a passing acquaintance with a historical personage, reading about their fictional counterpart leaves me less than thrilled. But it is quite interesting here, with high drama and strong personalities.
But things felt less cohesive than the earlier books because while the book center around a "thing", it is not a tangible thing like a place or particular legal status. These individuals have intense history and, one suspects, will go on to have more history.
Anyway, I'm not sure I'm explaining it right, except that I'm now left with a burning desire to pick up a biography about Lady Caroline Lamb and I feel dissatisfied that I don't know what happens to all of the real people!
I also found the romance harder to swallow in this one. I think it would be better without the love triangle. Devon Whatshisname, Duke of Winterborne (because I don't think the book ever says his name without reminding you he is a duke) is such a nonentity it isn't funny. I'd be much more interested in Rosalind trying to figure out if she wants to move further down the social standing by taking up with her Bow Street Runner than this will she/won't she with a guy who gets like three lines of dialogue. Perhaps we will learn to like him more in the next installment?
Profile Image for Mo.
1,562 reviews164 followers
March 29, 2020
The story was not interesting enough to completely claim my attention. I kept fixating on the number of characters who learned about Lady Melbourne's “secret” letters from Miss Rosalind Thorne.

Mrs. Kendricks
Miss Alice Littlefield
Mr. Adam Harkness
Sir David Royce
Mr. Sampson Goutier
Dr. Philip Bellingham
Mr. Sebastian Faulks
Mr. William Lamb
Mr. Jonathan Townsend
Mr. Henry Colburn

For someone who supposedly had such high scruples, Rosalind sure didn't mind completely abusing her employer's trust.

There was some good and some bad here. For example: The story was beautifully written, and I adored the author’s use of language BUT… I disliked the suppositions Miss Thorne frequently pulled out of thin air.

Profile Image for Hannah.
300 reviews15 followers
February 24, 2022
A very tepid 3 stars. Maybe I just assumed that a story involving Caroline Lamb and Byron would be more... salacious. In the end, I was a little bored of the mystery and very tired of the love triangle.
Profile Image for Megan.
380 reviews6 followers
November 20, 2019
In this third installment in the series Rosalind finds herself being summoned to Melbourne House and tasked with the job of finding missing letters, the contents of which would bring even greater scandal to Lady Melbourne’s household. Rosalind would rather not get involved with the dramas of this notorious family, but also realizes that her financial well-being is dependent on staying in the good graces of the socially powerful. While trying to decide how to proceed, her friend Adam Harkness a Bow Street officer, requests her assistance in discreetly investigating the murder of a woman whose body was brought to Bow Street from Melbourne House itself. Taking up residence at Melbourne House, Rosalind must sort through the abundance of lies, half-truths and paranoid suspicions coming from the various members of the household.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I especially enjoyed the weaving of historical characters with a fictional mystery. While it is not completely necessary to read the other books in the series to understand this one, it would be a shame to miss out on the character development and the background of the, for lack of better term, ‘love triangle’ (which, in my opinion, is exceedingly well handled and far more believable than most). Rosalind’s personal life mostly takes a backseat in this book, but it looks like it might get more focus in the next one.

Content-wise, I would place this at the low end of PG-13. There is some mild language and a fair amount of discussion regarding the scandalous life of Lord Byron and all those connected to him. The only mildly gruesome content is the description of the injuries observed on the murder victim at the very beginning.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC!
Profile Image for Barb in Maryland.
1,826 reviews104 followers
January 21, 2020
Rosalind gets mixed up in a very delicate case involving murder and missing letters, thanks to Lady Jersey (Patroness of Almack's) and Adam Harkness (Bow Street investigator). Lady Jersey wants Rosalind to help Lady Melbourne recover some 'stolen' letters of a very sensitive nature (Lord Byron, ahem) and enlists Rosalind to be the major helper. Harkness would appreciate Rosalind finding out the identity of a murdered woman whose body was recently delivered to Bow Street from the grounds of Melbourne House.
There are a lot of twists and turns along the way. We get a peek at the power politics of Bow Street; we meet Lady Melbourne's very strange daughter-in-law (Lady Caroline Lamb); we watch Rosalind walk a very narrow tightrope, all the while striving to maintain her integrity. Great stuff!
The author paints Caro Lamb in a very sympathetic light; I liked that. Lady Melbourne and her son (William Lamb) are not treated as gently. The mysteries are cleared up in a satisfactory manner. What isn't cleared up is Rosalind's love life. Those readers who were hoping for a definite answer on that subject will have to wait for the next book.
And there better be a next book...
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
834 reviews45 followers
March 6, 2022
I am still enjoying this series so much. Rosalind is a great lead. Adam is great too. Alice Littlefield and Mrs. Kendricks, as well as some of the other Bow Street Runners are delightful side characters. The ending of this one was so good. So well written. I love how Darcie Wilde has constructed Rosalind’s character and situation. She has to live in the in between in many ways and it makes for a lot of interesting dilemmas and character development.
Profile Image for eyes.2c.
2,312 reviews44 followers
May 4, 2022
Rosalind ends up in the giddy heights of the ton with Lady Melbourne, Lady Jersey is nearby. Then there’s Caroline Lamb. At the center of it all—Lord Byron and his letters. Still solving a murder as the highest in the land are able to dispose of a body proves difficult. Bow Street runner Adam Harkness is of course there and others we have come to appreciate.
Profile Image for Sarah.
307 reviews45 followers
February 6, 2020
Until a week ago, I had never heard of the author Darcie Wilde. I have since listened to all 3 books in the Rosalind Thorne series, and am eagerly awaiting more books in the series. I recommend this series to readers who enjoy Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series or C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries.
Profile Image for Toni.
1,323 reviews39 followers
December 10, 2019
4.25 Stars

This is the third book in the Rosalind Thorne mystery series by Darcie Wilde.

You need to go into this book knowing that this piece is set in the early 1800. Back then the speech was more stiff and proper. So, if you are looking for the normal flow you see in regular era books, you aren’t going to find it here. That is due mostly to the Regency setting. If you love a good Jane Austen book, you will definitely love this. But go in aware of the setting in order to get the most out of this novel.

I had a bit of trouble getting into the book due to all the properness and the dropping of so many names with Lord and Lady attached to them. My mind started to swim. I am not a normal reader of a Regency era book. If you have a bit of trouble too, I suggest listening to it on audio book. I let my kindle read it to me and found it all made so much more sense.

The entire concept of the novel is intriguing. You don’t find ladies like Rosalind much in 1800’s era fiction. She is very intuitive and pays attention to her surroundings. She can also make great leaps in logic. And she does this all while muttering to herself reminding herself to be a proper lady in the midst of the mystery and deception. She reminded me a lot of a female Sherlock Holmes.

I can see how someone could easily get lost in a novel of this era. The setting really overwhelmed me. I always wonder how authors can so get in touch with such a setting and nail it when offering it to the public.

Great book. I will definitely pick up the previous two books just to see what I have missed. This book may be a bit different than what we are used to in the cozy world but different isn’t always bad. Check this out and test it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
Profile Image for Debbie.
3,141 reviews56 followers
November 28, 2019
"And Dangerous to Know" is a mystery set in 1817 in London, England. This is the third book in the series. You don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the previous mysteries.

This was a clue-based puzzle mystery. Rosalind, Harkness (and those helping them) asked questions and collected information in their different ways. Rosalind was clever, but the mystery was complex and twisty. Whodunit was guessable but not obvious. The characters were interesting and reacted realistically to events. The historical details were woven into the story, and the author clearly put research time into getting those details correct.

There was no sex. There was a minor amount of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting mystery.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
Profile Image for Abigail.
22 reviews16 followers
September 15, 2020
I stumbled across this series at my newly-local library, and somehow ended up taking the third one home with me. (WHY are the booklists at the front of the book always out of order??) I may have spoiled myself slightly for the first two books, which of course I'll have to go back and read, because I ended up absolutely loving this one. Perhaps five stars is a bit of an over-eager enthusiasm, for lately any new mystery series I try seem to leave me with vague disappointment, but this one was delightful. I look forward to going back and reading the first two!
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,275 reviews25 followers
November 27, 2019
Although this is book three in a series, it is my first encounter with the protagonist, Rosalind Thorne.
I loved everything about her, and about AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW.

Years and years ago I was an avid reader of Georgette Heyer's Regency Romances---this book had that familiar element of the restricted society, the haughty grand dames, and the bright, aspiring heroine. But, in addition to the romance, we also have a mystery which I found engaging and challenging.

Ms. Wilde has written an entertaining and engaging book and I enjoyed every minute I spent with it.
Profile Image for Heatherinblack .
546 reviews8 followers
May 2, 2022
I found the solution sudden

Several loose ends. Mr Davies. Mr Fuellton. The search was a good one. All the different paths her investigation took. But the answer was somehow flat. As to the relationships, I think Rosalind is following a wise path.
Profile Image for Ellen.
Author 3 books25 followers
June 6, 2021
This has a sensational style, and really you start wondering how much can happen to a few people. There is murder, there are lies, and there are scenes in a private library.
Profile Image for Kimberly-Dawn Quinn.
302 reviews12 followers
October 24, 2021
This is a historical fiction novel that EARNS the “Austen” comparison. Rosalind is a refreshing breath of fresh air in a market glutted with “Austen-like” books. I could immediately tell this book was very well researched by the world-building, character development, realistic backstories, expectations, the prose and descriptions of the Victorian England society.

In this book we’re introduced to world of the Ton and Lord Byron. TBH I have thought more than once about his reception in such circles. The snippets of Byron’s correspondence lend credibility to this authors reimagining. I love that I recognize names throughout this book. I think because of dealing with such well known personages I feel there was more constraint. Although Rosalind shines as usual and her “warning shot” at the end made me stand up and cheer!!

Rosalind is a well educated woman who was raised to make her debut into society, marry and then run a household. The winds of fortune are subject to change and not all that inherit wealth are capable of managing it. Rosalind’s father abandons his family when he loses the family fortune.

Rosalind transforms herself into a “Useful Woman”—a personal confidential assistant to the more “respectable wealthy women”. In this role she has found herself protecting others from scandals as simple as blackmail to as complex as murder. There are fantastic supporting characters that include close friends also attempting to make their way in this society. In spite of the tragic losses there are some witticisms including a few winks and nods at the ridiculous rules.

I highly recommend this book (actually the entire series). The mystery is very well woven and layered.
1 review
February 21, 2020
I've liked all the books in the series so far but, IMO none have been quite as good as the first. The mystery in this book kept me guessing and the based on a true story historical context was very interesting. However, I ultimately felt that with all the Lady Melbourne/Caroline Lamb/Lord Byron drama there was too little of Rosalind and her relationships in this story. Especially her relationship or lack there of with Adam. As always we're told there are unspoken feelings between them but, we very rarely see it and in this book the scenes between them were all business until the end. Since the first book, there has really never been a scene of real affection between the two and it's too bad because I enjoyed that scene so much, and their potential relationship is what keeps me reading. I love a well written love triangle! Not saying I want this series to turn into a bodice ripper especially since doing something scandalous and wreckless would be completely against Rosalind's and Adam's characters but, a little more romantic interaction, a look a smile, an accidental touch, something other than just being told of their conflicted inner feelings would be nice. I think a nun and a priest who secretly harbor feelings for eachother would've betrayed more of themselves than these two have by now! I'll be interested to see what happens as she clearly still has feelings for Devin too and I'm sure she will have a difficult time giving him up that is, IF she gives him up. I get the feeling she will eventually end up with Adam somehow but, wonder if that will be the end of the series since how many society ladies would require her services if she really decides to give the haute ton the middle finger by throwing over a Duke for a Bow street runner. Curious how this will all get resolved, I just hope it doesn't all end with Rosalind taking her bank draft from Lady M off into the sunset and deciding she doesn't need either of them or some such nonsense. That would be a cop out. Anyway it was overall a very enjoyable read and I hope there will be many more in this series.
Profile Image for Winterstar.
192 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2022
The third book in the series continues on with the characters from previous books and does a good job of introducing and re-introducing the characters to readers who may not have read them back-to-back. As with the other books, there is a good attention to detail and setting and it's easy to envision the characters in the scene, their movements and what is happening as everything is nicely described and the writer does a good job of weaving character action and description together.

The overall plot is interesting and moves along at a good pace. Unfortunately, this book also suffers from the same downsides as the previous book. It seems either there's too much editing of scenes going on, or not enough. The novel appears to have whole scenes missing, and yet has random useless scenes and POVs inserted. It's not clear if it's supposed to be an attempt at a red herring which is executed poorly or just bad editing. It's like a sweater that's been stitched together and has threads just dangling and hanging loose and nothing is done with them. This happens in the previous book where the writer brings up a big situation, and then it is never mentioned again.

At one point the reader is randomly thrown into Davies point of view as he watches Rosalind and makes it sound like he planned to go back and watch her. There are several problems with this. One- there's no way he could have known that she was going to be at that house as he didn't see her previously when he had been driven away from the house in the first place, and he really had no reason to go back and watch the house in general anyway after being driven off. Two- so what- what's the point? Why are we even getting this paragraph? Davies is watching Rosalind and...... then nothing. Nothing comes of it. It doesn't appear he did anything that would warrant the reader being in his POV, he didn't anywhere in the narrative try to stop her, or confront her or anything at all as far as the reader ever knows. What was the point? This whole section could have been cut as it has zero effect on the story. Three- Did something actually happen?? At some later point, several chapters later Rosalind, notes that Davies was right (though it's not sure if it was about the Runners or the dangers of the letters) and there's some sort of inference that there was perhaps some sort of confrontation, but the reader is never privy to what happened if anything. Any meeting with Davies after Rosalind leaves #12 house is left out of the story, off the pages and indeed in nowhere land for the reader.

There's another small bit later on where it's unclear if Davies is actually in the library or it's Rosalind's musing. It makes most sense for it to be Rosalind's musing, but it doesn't come across that way.

At another point Townsend says he will handle things and take care of some things, but then it's really never known or told what exactly he does. The writer makes a big point of having him reassure Rosalind that he would deal with certain things- which could perhaps be catching the perpetrator, or reassessing what Mr. Lamb told him or any number of things. The main idea is the writer points it out and then it becomes another loose thread in the wind. Even the ending sheds no real light on the matter. It's also not really clear why the perpetrator attacks Rosalind (which isn't really a spoiler, because let's face it he/she eventually does in every book thus far). Rosalind had given no reason for the murderer to assume she knew anything more than what she said. The murderer just appeared to jump the gun and go after her for what? Because she was questioning motives and common sense?

While the writer does do a good job of weaving most of the threads together, it's the ones that stick out that are the most jarring and off-putting. There is improvement on being able to follow Rosalind's train of thought and how she figures things out, which is much better done than the first book, however it seems a bit that the perpetrator is who the perpetrator is because Rosalind didn't want it to be anyone else. In fact, she talks herself out of all the other suspects because she doesn't want them to be guilty and that seems almost why the murderer is who the murderer is. The evidence is weak and the motive for the murderer is even weaker and not really explained, which ties into a continuing problem with this book as the last book- the rushed ending.

The writer takes all this time to build a nice story and then ends it in in about 5 pages. Again, all the reader gets is the CliffsNotes version of the ending. Summary paragraph one, two and three with just a small section where Rosalind does a few things the reader actually gets to witness. The endings to these books feel more like an outline for a book report than a finished, polished ending. Sure there are points that should be skipped and skimmed and just reported as fact but there are much more points that require more exploration and explanation.

The writer spends all the pages before building up the scenes and the characters and events only to gloss over the ending and the details. Readers want to know more than just a summary of what happens- they want to see it. It brings them close to the characters and finalizes events, ties up those loose threads. These past two books have been like watching a chef prepare a mouth-watering dessert right in front of you only to have the chef take out his phone, snap a picture of the dessert, and send you a picture instead of letting you taste a piece which lets you admire the artistry but still be disappointed.

Overall, the descriptions and character actions make sense. The characters do grow some as they start to figure out who they are and what they want and how events change their point of view and circumstances. The plot and action flow well and the setting and worldbuilding is nicely done. There are however, several unaddressed questions and points of confusion, and the ending is sorely lacking in clearing up character motivations and points of confusions. Still the mystery is interesting and the characters sympathetic. Hopefully the author will grow more when it comes to endings.
Profile Image for Stephanie Hohn.
56 reviews2 followers
October 31, 2020
Someone else commented “by the third book it’s time to pick the hero” but honestly he should have been picked in the 2nd book. I understand still having some feelings for the man you almost married but, Devin’s circumstances have been substantially better than hers for a long time and he didn’t offer for her hand... why? Every excuse is just as flimsy as the last, he just didn’t have the nerve to deal with ~the scandal~ and now that things have cooled down he’s dipping his toe back in. Devin ain’t shit and he never has been. If she picks him I’ll lose respect for her to be honest.

I’d also have like to hear more about Adam’s family. Are they as poor and out of Rosalind’s class as they seem? That could be a real issue if she wants to maintain her class connections badly, but we don’t really get to see much of Adam’s reality so it’s hard to say. I’ll read the next book when it come out but if something satisfying doesn’t happen in that one I may tap out.
375 reviews13 followers
December 24, 2020
I wish I knew how to rate this book (series). First, here is what I felt it was: a solid mystery and very solid writing. So if you love mysteries and well written ones then I would definitely recommend it.

However, I am not particularly partial to mysteries though I do read quite a few of them. For me, it's not really just the mystery. It MORE about the characters. I think when I read a mystery series, it's the characters that keep me coming back. Their interaction with each other and the bonds that form when faced with crisis. That is where I feel this book does not quite manage as well. But even here, I wonder how to rate it because the characters are very clearly drawn. There is no poor writing here. The problem is that the h for me was just so unlikable. And even there it's hard to review because I think every character acted appropriately according to the time period. There is class snobbery, there is racial snobbery, the sexism and none of it feels exaggerated. It feels very true to the period. I think THAT is what made the book hard for me because the h either subscribed to it or was constrained by it.

As to the H, I'm not particularly sure whom that is as there are a couple of potential love interests. And here, if you don't want a relationship spoiler read no further. Although the review is marked as a spoiler this is just an extra warning since the book is a mystery after all...though the only spoiler is relationship-wise.

As far as relationships, nothing is decided after THREE books. There is Devon, whom I will call H1, who is the h's first love. I found him...wonderful. I just so liked his character. I especially love that when you first get an idea of what he looks like, he's described as a broad shouldered man who has stepped into his role and really grown. So naturally as a reader of romance books, I assumed that he's this typical tall, broad shouldered handsome swoon worthy guy. Is he? Well, as an adult (they meet again after 8 years), we're not really sure what he looks like. But we know that the h fell in love with him from the beginning and that back then he's described as thin, awkward, trying to grow side whiskers (unsuccessfully) to hide pock marks along the side of his face and that he also had tried to grow his hair longer than usual, also unsuccessfully. And yet, his personality shines through so much that the h is smitten. Also, at first we assume that when her family scandal emerges, it is the H who breaks off their "understood betrothal." But later, we're not so sure. We realize it was more that she pulled back and away and that he has basically been waiting/dangling for 8 years for her.

Then there's H2, Adam Harkness. He's a Bow Street runner. He's also very likable. But unlike Devon the Duke, he's from a working class family. He is smitten with the h as she is now.

And that's where I start to dislike the h though I am sure she is acting in keeping with her circumstances. It still doesn't mean that I like her. Because during those 8 years, H1 and h have changed but they didn't change together if you know what I mean. So coming together after 8 years, there's the challenge of trying to figure out who each other is now and if they can still find common ground to renew their relationship. OK. Fine. That makes sense. But the h is also aware that what she wants is to stay in the same social strata that she was raised in. This is her world and her people and she was relegated to the sidelines for 8 years on sufferance because of her family's scandal. So she has made it a point to live a life of strict propriety because being accepted (barely) was better than not being accepted at all. But then you have H2 and the h. They meet and there's an attraction and the h recognizes that this relationship is not to be dismissed so readily because H2 knows her and likes her as she is now (and not 8 years ago). But here is what I really disliked. The h discovers her sister is living as a courtesan. She's thinking "oh lawd, more scandal if this gets out." So here she is at the end of Book 3 going to spend time at H1's estate to discover if their feelings/relationship is still there. She is going to try and not base any of it on his current title and finances (which seriously, is honest right? I mean, you wouldn't be human if you weren't factoring that in somewhat). But she also thinks "can he accept me as I am now and also that my sister is a courtesan?" Because H1 is also very protective of his family name and place in society. But see, this is where I REALLY start to dislike the h. Because there's this implication that should H1 fall through, there's always H2 because guess what? He's not the aristocracy. He's just this working class shlub so everyone knows their standards are lower and he knows about the lower class and prostitutes etc because of what he does for a living. If anything, I feel that the working class most likely had stricter beliefs regarding how one comports oneself and that H2 should not be any more accepting of a sister-in-law who is a prostitute (let's call a spade a spade here) than H1.

In short, I think H1 and H2 deserve someone other than the h. So in the end, the only thing that I didn't like much was the h and considering she's the main character, that's kind of a big "only thing." Especially in a series where you are hoping to see character developments and bonds being formed. I see there's a 4th book but I am unsure whether to read it because honestly, I simply like H1 enough to not want to read another book where the h keeps him dangling and to see him pine for her so much (as he had even stated it in one of these books, he wanted her to let him know if there could be anything between them again or not because if she says there isn't, then he can grieve and move on). I hear ya man. I would just hate to read about your grieving.
Profile Image for GONZA.
6,259 reviews102 followers
December 30, 2019
This time the book really goes very fast, there are a lot of plot twist and some hard decision to made, unluckily the most interesting for me have to wait at last for the next installment....

Stavolta il ritmo é molto piú serrato, ci sono parecchi colpi di scena e decisioni difficili da prendere, sfortunatamente peró, quelle che piú mi interessano devono aspettare come minimo il prossimo libro....peccato!

Profile Image for Annarella.
10.1k reviews94 followers
January 13, 2020
It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last as I loved this entertaining and engrossing story.
The historical background is well researched, the cast of characters is fleshed out and the mystery is solid.
The book kept hooked and the mystery kept me guessing.
An excellent read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,110 reviews35 followers
February 9, 2020
And Dangerous to Know earns 5+/5 Stolen Letters...Engaging Entertainment!
The death of an unidentified woman is obviously murder, but Adam Harkness, the principal officer at the Bow Street Station, is disappointed the King’s coroner is prepared only to make personal notes, then quietly have her interred. Nothing official, no public notice, no warrant allowing Harkness to inquire further. The body was found at the gates of Melbourne House, residence of the very influential Lord Melbourne, and it would be inappropriate, if not career ending, to put under suspicion anyone in that family, despite quiet rumors of scandalous indiscretions. However, if someone discreet could ingratiate “herself,” and without notice, investigate and find answers...Miss Rosalind Thorne is brought to mind.

Rosalind Thorne has been approached by Lady Jersey, who is personally aware of her unique abilities, to provide her “particular assistance” to Viscountess Melbourne. A packet of letters, letters that would prove embarrassing to her, her family, and George Gordon, Lord Byron, have been stolen. Acting as Lady Melbourne’s confidential secretary, she would be well positioned to ask questions, search private areas, overhear quiet conversations, and hopefully locate the stolen property. Living at Melbourne House offers some challenge since Rosalind’s wardrobe has not seen an upgrade since her family’s financial crisis, but a five hundred pound stipend is quite the inducement or is it a bribe...payment for her complete silence.

After Adam Harkness relates his predicament with investigating the young woman’s murder, Rosalind observes, “It would seem, Mr. Harkness, that our paths have converged.”

Brilliant! I am new to this series by Darcie Wilde, and after only a few pages of the third book in her Rosalind Thorne Mysteries, I am a big fan! Setting the drama in the early nineteenth century is unique in my experience (I see Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Darcy) offering fascinating historical insights into events of the day, the English ton, and the criminal justice system such as it is. Darcie Wilde also pens historical romances, so this mystery seems to take on an epic nature delving more deeply into relationships, interactions, and formal and informal social gatherings along with the drama of a murder investigation. Each chapter cleverly begins with a title and passage from the sought after “personal correspondence” selected to illustrate directly and indirectly the drama and provide insights into background, behaviors, and motives. Darcie’s writing style using a third-person narrative with descriptive language and dialogue that does well to show tone of the era, emotions, and personalities. The mystery was an engrossing tale with twists and secrets; the insights into the “ton” were fascinating reminiscent of dynamics that might be found in Downton Abbey, but a century earlier; the characters were varied, well-developed, and realistic as I understand, with Rosalind’s strength and intelligence and Alice’s independence and ambition a real delight. Then Adam....ooooh! I loved it and am eager to read the first two books!

All three Rosalind Thorne books are available on Audible with A Useful Woman and A Purely Private Matter narrated by the delightful Sarah Nichols. However, And Dangerous to Know is narrated by the fabulously talented Pearl Hewitt, my all time favorite voice artist. I decided to get the audio version to finish “listening” to Darcie Wilde’s drama. Pearl’s engaging artistry has always enriched my experience; she does well to illustrate tone and various personalities through a change in volume and style along with slight and obvious variations in the British accent to depict dialect, age, gender, and status, even a French-ish accent pops up. A challenge for all female narrators is to perform adequately the male voice which Pearl gives more than an entertaining performance. I loved it and highly recommend Darcie Wilde’s book, especially the audio version!

Disclosure: I received an ARC eBook from NetGalley (Kensington). My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments. I purchased the audiobook from Audible.
Profile Image for Helen.
368 reviews7 followers
December 31, 2019
A dead woman has been found at the gates of Melbourne House. Lord and Lady Melbourne are famous, the upper ton of the ton, as it were. And unfortunately their daughter-in-law is infamous, Lady Caroline Lamb, known for her liaison with George Gordon, "the" Lord Byron of romantic lore. The dead woman is unknown, though. There is a possibility she was killed inside the gates of the mansion -- and a great scandal this would definitely be. Since the police are involved, an investigation must be undertaken, but with the highest secrecy. Adam Harkness, principal officer at Bow Street Police Station, will see to it.

While this is happening, another matter has captured the attention of Lady Melbourne. Miss Rosalind Thorne is summoned to the house by Sarah, Lady Jersey, the doyenne of Georgian society. Thus we have the start of And Dangerous to Know, the third of the historical mystery series set in Georgian times by Darcie Wilde.

There are letters missing, embarrassing letters. Lady M suspects “they” mean to publish, not blackmail. The scandal would be devastating. She wants Rosalind to stop this from happening. She wants the letters back in any event, whatever the reason for their disappearance. Rosalind agrees to help, moving into the mansion as her ladyship’s new secretary. So she is in place as Mr. Harkness comes on the scene. Both of them will soon have work to do. For the murder and the missing letters must be connected -- mustn’t they?

There’s mutual attraction here, of course. But convention ensures only readers are aware of it. Besides, Rosalind has a duke that’s offered her marriage. What’s a girl to do? Especially a poor girl. But at least we do learn of one concrete reason who Rosalind can’t marry her duke. I was glad of that.

Rosalind and her policeman do spend a lot of time in this book “thinking.” It’s a way that the author communicates facts. It’s also a way for the plot to get pushed along, but it does tend to get annoying after a while.

This is one of those books in which it might help if you know your history, so that you will more completely understand why these people are acting the way they do in these pages. The author does a good job of filling in some of the backstory -- including providing a truly shocking reason for why “the letters” can’t ever see the light of day, something that was hinted about at the time, but it might behoove you to do a little research of your own. The social media darlings of today have nothing on the men and women who flitted through the drawing rooms and ballrooms of British society in the early 19th century.

Chapters go back and forth between Rosalind and Adam, so that we can see what is happening from the different points of view. It helps to heighten the tension and serves as quite the page-turner. And a page-turner it is, even though the book bogged down a bit for me with the retelling of the travails of Lady Caroline; as far as the murder goes, pretty much everyone is trying to implicate Lady C, including herself. After we get past that little red herring, we get to the meat of the story and the real mystery and the solving of it. It’s quite a tale. Rosalind may come up against some that would like to see her fail, but that’s never an option.

The books ends on a thoughtful note. Rosalind must make some decisions for herself. She’ll work through them, of course, because there are more stories to tell.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for a copy of this book in advance of publication, in exchange for this review.
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