Cover Image: A Death in Chelsea

A Death in Chelsea

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Member Reviews

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As a fan of the author and her books it was a great to jump right into the second book of the series ( although it could be read as a standalone). It was nice to settle back in between the pages of well written characters and engaging and fast paced mystery solving. No spoilers from me, but the book kept me well engaged and on my toes til the end. I look forward to more in the series and more adventures from Chief Inspector Beech's team
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Chief Inspector Peter Beech is an openminded police detective who has the vision of women aiding the police and heads up the unique team.  Victoria is a female lawyer who at one point had been "dating" Beech, but that ended and now they attempt working together.  Caroline is the female doctor on the team.  She is waiting for Beech to see her as more than a friend.  Rigsby is the younger male of the team and the handsome one that women seem to flutter eyelashes at despite a scar from the war.  Tollman is an older and grizzled policeman that knows more about the goings on in London and who to talk to than most anybody else alive.  Tollman takes Rigsby under his wing and begins mentoring him.  Lady Maud is Victoria's mother and provides a large house as the team's headquarters.  Billy Rigby's mom, Elsie, and his Aunt Sissy provide some comic relief and are gems in the story.  

The setting of London provided a sad and seedy backdrop punctuated with brief moments in society houses.  This does have a grittier side with some subject matter, but it also displays compassion (particularly Tillman and Rigby) for those struggling.  There isn't gore, but some harsh realities of life at that time presented with sensitivity.  Also, the first world war with air attacks from Zeppelins and the tensions of the suffragette movement pepper throughout the story.  The British Suffragettes were more confrontational than in America.

Figuring out the who-done-it isn't easy and information is revealed throughout the investigation in order to get any idea of what took place the fateful night of the murder.  The women are aware of their limitations within society in general but in dangerous situations as well.  There are a few subplots at work in the story that keep the pace moving and interest up.  

The killer reveal was rather cut and dry as the police on the team close in on guilty parties, but it still provided a twist or two that made it satisfying.  The wrap-up was heartwarming and paved the way for the team to continue for another case.

I love this new series.  If you like the Sebastian St Cyr series but want something a little less grim, this is for you!  It is just a bit "gritty" without being gory or explicit and had some comedic lighter moments as well.  It does acknowledge the grim realities of life and crime.  The characters are well done and there are layers to their exchanges that make the story rich and memorable.  This leaves plenty of room over the series for the characters to develop and surprise the reader.  The mystery was complex enough to get my interest and keep it throughout.  

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list
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Scotland Yard Inspector Breech is assigned to investigate the death of gossip columnist Lady Adeline Treborne.  She also the daughter of The Duchess of Penhere, a wealthy socialite.  The death looks like a suicide but the Duchess insists her daughter would never kill herself.  The autopsy result is murder.  The team investigates the victim's lifestyle.  Lady Adeline acquired numerous enemies as she blackmailed her way into a story.  The initial crime of murder lead into other crimes.  So the team had to solve the lesser crimes to solve the bigger crime.  

I received this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.  This was an interesting mystery.  The time period after World War !  the setting of the book represented a change in society.  It set in motion for women to work outside the home.  Although Inspector Beech is male, his team of investigators is female.  Forensic science to solve criminal investigation was also introduced.  This is the second book in the Mayfair 100 series.  Ms. Britteny did an excellent job of describing the city of Chelsea.  She also introduced social norms as mixed marriages baby farming and the beginning of soldiers losing limbs and needing medical attention. and the class system in England..
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Amidst the backdrop of WWI, a small, specially-formed group of investigators works with the Metropolitan Police to solve crimes relating to the aristocracy. This is the second book in the Mayfair 100 series by Lynn Brittney. I had not read the previous book and did not find it diminished my experience reading this one. 

While I liked the premise of the book, I did not particularly enjoy reading it. For me, there were too many characters and I found it difficult to keep them all straight. I feel that the story would have been stronger if there was a single female narrative voice. The characters were flat and hard to identify with and root for. I did find it odd that one of the characters is a female pharmacist who is also an expert on forensics with a first-generation Leica camera the year it was released to the public. It's a stretch. I was also really bothered by the author's and the characters' nonchalance in the assisted suicide of two minor characters. It was treated with little care and promptly forgot about.
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“Death in Chelsea” by Lynn Brittney the 2nd instalment in the "Mayfair 100 Mystery" series. I had not read the first book ”Murder in Belgravia” but I was able to read as a stand alone, I do recommend reading in order though.

I found myself enjoying the story and reading over several days.   As a few others stated I liked the idea of a female crime solving unit, especially during this period of history where women were taking on more men’s roles because of the war.  I did find some things might of been to modern but it did not take away from the story.

The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and I loved the characters which there are a lot of them.  It was sometimes hard to keep track of them. Most of the characters are well developed and a likeable bunch. 

I recommend this series to all my historical mystery loving friends.

I requested and received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from  Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my OWN.
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Thanks one of my Goodreads friends and her review of this book, I decided to start at the beginning of the series and found and read [book:Murder in Belgravia|37481550] first. And never regretted it.
Mayfair 100 Murder Mystery is new amazing, interesting series trotting on the cozy line. It is not because the series do not have enough murder, mayhem, evil and gore. There are plenty. It is because of the characters and relationships between them.
Picking up a book, any book in the series, you end up having a colourful bunch of friends who love each other, trust each other and are ready to follow one another to ends of the earth.
It is 1915. WWI is raging in Europe. Men are called to arms and women are left to feel the gaps. However, crime does not stop... So, a new unofficial team is created at the London Police. It is very unusual as it consists of invalided soldier ex-boxer, high-born officer and police detective, and women: high-born doctor and lawyer, a very knowledgeable pharmacist and very lively two sisters. And who can forget the leader of the 'mothership', Lady Maud who offered her town house to this team as headquarters...
Why such a bunch? Well, high-born ladies would only talk to their equals, wouldn't they?
Thus, when one of them is in trouble with the law (on either side) she would want someone equal to share her burden and to ask for help.
The work of this team is very detailed and thorough. 
Lynn Brittney, the creator of the series, did an amazing job creating such likeable characters. I read both books very quickly aching for more. I'd love to see how the relationships develop.
A Death in Chelsea is the second case for the team. It is a murder or not of high-born socialite turned dirty gossip columnist. Yes, such people existed even at the beginning of the 20th century...
As team starts unravel the crime, many more layers are uncovered, and many more crimes and shady goings on. 
You will laugh, you will smirk, you will gasp and you will be happy and proud of your new-found friends.
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A Death in Chelsea is the second book in the Mayfair 100 series by Lynn Brittney. Released 10th March 2020 by Crooked Lane Books (original release in Great Britain in 2019), it's 326 pages and available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

Despite being the second book in the series, the author is adept at providing backstory information, the plot development is easy to follow, and the characters are distinct enough that it works well as a standalone. It's a fun cozy set in WW1 London with a motley crew of mostly female amateur sleuths investigating the suspicious apparent suicide death of a society gossip monger who's also a member of the minor nobility. There are suspects aplenty, the victim was widely loathed and reviled.

The plot is straightforward and easy to follow. The characterization felt slightly pandering and too archetypal to be very engaging to me (the smart and acerbic female doctor, the surprisingly intelligent salt-of-the-earth charlady from the lower classes, the patroness from the noble class, the honest copper, the special branch career investigator who secures them their cases, etc). For readers in search of meticulously researched verisimilitude, this one will likely engender teeth gnashing. Bring a hefty suspension of disbelief. It is, at the end of the day, a diverting read with a mostly satisfying denouement, pure escapism with a good ending. Frankly that's what this reader needed at the moment, escapism. The language content is very clean (an occasional "bloody h*ll", nothing worse. There is some dark content, drug abuse, discussion of suicide, moralistic reflection on societal attitudes about birth outside wedlock during the Edwardian/Georgian era, and such.

Four stars for fans of historical cozies with female ensembles who aren't sticklers for period dialogue or forms of address for the nobility.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes
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Although this was the second in a series and I hadn't read the first book, I found that this was an excellent stand-alone! The story was captivating and was a very well done mystery! However, I did find the sheer number of characters difficult to keep up with, but overall, a great read!
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This book didn't really seem to fit in the WWI era completely. I don't think it was thoroughly researched, but other than that, it was a pretty good read. It was something to keep me interested and engaged during this crazy time!
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Chief Inspector Peter Beech returns with his clandestine group of crime investigators - Dr. Caroline Allerdyce, Victoria, Rigsby and Tollman. Because women are not allowed to join Scotland Yard, the team operates out of a Mayfair location. The Mayfair 100 monicker comes from their phone number. Together the team investigates crimes from the very top of the social ladder to the very bottom. The year is 1915 and WWI has seriously upended social mores.
In this, their second case, they are asked to investigate the hanging death of the daughter of a duchess, a woman who knew secrets that many wished would never see the light of day. Did she really commit suicide or did some of that gossip push somebody over the edge to keep it secret? Her family is certain it had to be murder and so the search begins for a killer.
The setting of London of 1915, the well developed characters of Peter Beech and his very talented team of investigators, the impact of WWI on daily life, a satisfying puzzle and a very smooth writing style keep this series in the top ten of my favorite historical mysteries.
My thanks to the publisher Crooked Lane and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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A Death in Chelsea by Lynn Brittney is the second in the Mayfair 100 mystery series but it reads well on its own. Mayfair 100 is the telephone number in Chelsea, UK of a group of female amateur detectives with skillsets that are compatible with professional police detectives, as they attempt to solve serious crimes together. A new case is presented when the body of Lady Adeline Treborne is found and the circumstances indicate that it was suicide but the ladies soon prove that all is not as it seems. Lady Treborne had made many enemies during her short life. Their investigation takes them to all levels of English society and, during their search, more crimes are committed. I found it somewhat disconcerting that the author wrote of events and methods that are too modern for the era of WW 1. Vocabulary was sometimes too modern as well. I thought that there were too many secondary characters involved in the mystery, making it confusing at times to keep up with the story. It was an interesting book and light entertainment, which is not a bad thing in these troubling times. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A ragtag group of investigators in World War I London investigate the suicide of Lady Adeline Trehorne.

Called to look into the suicide, the detectives quickly determine that Lady Adeline was already dead when someone slipped the noose around her neck, and the real mystery is not who wanted her dead, but who didn’t want her dead. The young aristocrat made a fortune—and many enemies—publishing a gossip column, but the true source of her income was a side blackmailing gig. However, the young woman rarely left her quarters, so where did she get her information?

The Mayfair 100 (which certainly refers to the number of characters) use unorthodox means to investigate the case and entrap the villains. Along the way, they learn a good many secrets about London’s upper crust society.

An enjoyable historical mystery, but the dizzying number of characters is tiresome. I gave up trying to keep track.  #ADeathInChelsea #NetGalley
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This is the second in the series, and I did feel a little left out when it came to pre-established relationships and bonds that I was not privy to. That had me floundering, in the beginning feeling the language a little too clunky. But once the people became more transparent, I started to get the hang of the narrative style (a switch that rarely ever happens) and actually ended up enjoying the unravelling mystery based in the time of World War I. 

The core group of mystery solvers here are a mixed group of people who have been given special permission to solve cases together. This is something that is kept a secret from the general public or even the rest of Scotland Yard because half of the group are women! The case starts off in a usual fashion with a person with rank pulling it to get special treatment. This is a common thread throughout the story, the commentary on the discrepancies between men and women and people of different 'classes'. It was interesting to follow for the most part. Once they get to the scene, however, it turns out that not everything that meets the eye is as it seems. None of the known factors of the case adds up, and there is a very steady amount of legwork, and teamwork deployed to get the case to its appropriate conclusion. It felt immersive in the feel of the time, which was an interesting background. The solution is almost apparent before the actual reveal, but by then I just wanted to see what roles the individuals play ( the good guys, that is)in the grand scheme of things. I am always partial to a well-written multi-starer, and this was pretty good.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers,, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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I think I liked this one even more than the first one -such a great read!! 

Set in July of 1915 when England is caught in the clutches of World War I, our intrepid team is finding themselves at loose ends [all busy with their lives, but not any special cases] when the Superintendent called Chief Inspector Beech into his office and gives him a case and the story begins. A young woman, reviled by both her family and society [for being a malicious gossip writer for the local "rag" newspaper] is found dead, hanging from her overhead gas fixture in her rooms. Nothing is the rooms seems amiss and the team is puzzled from day one. They also struggle with this one, because as sad as it is that someone has died/been murdered, it is difficult to find much sympathy for such a reviled human being. And as the case goes on, they all will have to dig deep inside themselves to find the wherewithal and strength and courage to go forward and it will take ALL of their skills to get the job done. 

I love how they all work together - society and "under-the-stairs" with no pretense or uppity airs. They all have specific gifts and they are all put to use with those gifts and skills and it is so gratifying to read that - it makes for a more interesting story and really shows how people can and do work together in the most trying of times.  I hope this series continues as it is one of my new all-time favorites. Well done Ms. Brittney, well done. 

Thank you to NetGalley and to Crooked Lane Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is my first experience with the Mayfair 100, because I missed the first in the series A Death in Belgravia. However, I found this novel easily stands alone so new readers should not be deterred from giving this a try. Mayfair 100 is the number for a one of a kind, specialist crime fighting team. The all-female team of amateur detectives are working against the backdrop of WW1 where an aristocrat’s apparent suicide is being questioned by her family. The Duchess of Penhere suspects foul play was involved in the death of her daughter. The Daughter, Adeline, has a vicious gossip column, and could provide a list of enemies within the upper echelons of London society. When Dr. Caroline Allardyce performs an autopsy and confirms murder is the cause of death, the case begins. Yet with a list of possible suspects and the famously secretive British aristocracy to investigate, this could be their toughest case yet. 
I liked the concept of a female crime fighting team, especially in this period of history where women were taking on men’s roles. With so many men fighting abroad, women came into the fore in a number of roles. This is a period where we start to see the results of female university education, but mainly women were moving into factory work, shop work and other lower and middle class professions. My home county of Lincolnshire saw the first female police officer, Edith Smith, awarded full powers of arrest in 1915. This book is set in July of 1915, a new world of exciting opportunities for women, with scientific as well as social breakthroughs in the background. As well as Dr Allardyce, the team includes pharmacist and photographer Mabel Summersby, Victoria Ellingham who has nursing training as well as Victoria’s mother, Lady Maud who is their foothold in the society circles they need to infiltrate in this case. The group are a strong team, but are also enjoyable in terms of their dynamics and conversations. They are lively and intelligent. 
While this is an investigation into the scandalous upper classes the twists and turns take us through some murky territory. Those questioned by the team range from a QC, an MP and a con-artist, as well as Adeline’s brother desperately trying to keep his family’s good name intact. Underneath the gossip and scandal, Adeline was also running a blackmail scheme, including a baby ‘farmer’ who bought and sold illegitimate babies. While this was a legal occupation at the time, there was often neglect and even murder being committed. Detective Arthur Beech and other male officers take on the seedier parts of London, while the women are sent out to treat the more high class contacts with kid gloves. 
For me, although the story was interesting, it was the historical detail I enjoyed most. This is a period of history that fascinates me and this being the second year of WW1 some of the effects are already being felt. This war was the Great Equaliser as men of all classes fought together, and the sheer loss of life created huge societal shifts. The class system as it had been known for centuries, began to collapse. Great families lost all their heirs leaving aristocratic women dependent on barely known and distant relatives. Many stately homes were hit by death duties multiple times, bankrupting estates or forcing them to diversify and let in the public. Previously supported by Male family members and focused on home, middle class women worked or had to open up family homes to lodgers. This was a scary but exciting time for women, but for men it was very different as injured soldiers started to return to jobs now out of their reach or being done by women. Many were reduced to poverty and begging on street corners. All of this detail lurks in the background to this novel. I look forward to meeting with the Mayfair 100 again where I hope to learn more about each character as they develop further in this changeable part of the 20th Century.
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Lynn Brittney continues the World War I Mayfair 100 mysteries with A Death in Chelsea.  The Duchess of Penhere's daughter, gossip columnist Lady Adeline is discovered hanging in her bedroom.  The amateur female detectives from Mayfair are called in to help Chief Inspector Beech discreetly solve the case.  Blackmail, murder, and other seamy crimes entangle a disparate group of victims.  Well plotted period mystery against the background of the men away at war and women stepping up to the jobs.
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I don’t know if it’s because this is the second book in the series and I haven’t read the first one,, but I really struggled to connect with the characters in this book. There were so many of them and I felt like I was missing backstory that would have been helpful. My fault for not realizing this was a series when I requested it. It was still an okay read and I’m sure I’d enjoy it more if I revisited after reading book 1.
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The release in ebook format and hardback of this title by Crooked Lane is a reason to celebrate.
Having reviewed the paperback version of this title and the first in the series, Murder in Belgravia, I can only reconfirm some of what I said at that time.
That I'd enjoyed " the characters as they grew into their roles, that underlining the series are serious social issues of the time including mixed marriages, baby farming, the toll of war and how ill prepared Britain was for the devastating injuries and things like the need for artificial limbs, to the levelling of the social barriers."
Once again all kudos to Brittney for her very thoroughly researched understandings of the issues of these times.
Tying all these social problems into a murder mystery is challenging but Brittney  seems to be pulling it off.

A Crooked Lane Books ARC via NetGalley
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The Mayfair 100 group is called upon to help solve crimes of aristocrats with discretion.. This  team is working in England in 1915. The team consists of both men and women, in the police as well as doctors and scientists. I haven’t read the first book, but I liked this group of characters so I’ll go back and read it.
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A Death In Chelsea is the second book in The Mayfair 100 Mystery series.

Inspector Beech’s secret team is anxiously looking forward to their next assignment and hoping that they will be helping someone from the working class. But that will not will be the case. The Duchess of Penhere has sought out the Chief Superintendent to ask him to investigate the death of her daughter, Lady Adeline Treborne. Adeline had been found hanging from a ceiling in her flat and the Duchess doesn’t feel that it was suicide even though it looks that way.

What with the Duchess and her status, the Chief Superintendent calls on Inspector Beech and his team. 
The team, who call themselves The Mayfair 100, the phone number at the house they meet at. The team consists of a doctor, Caroline, a lawyer, Victoria, and two policemen, Arthur and Billy, and the newest member, Mabel, a pharmacist.

Beech meets with his team and once they have their assignments Victoria, Mabel and Sissy, Billy’s aunt, set off for Lady Adeline’s flat to begin their investigation. Victoria. They are quickly able to determine that she didn’t commit suicide. While searching her flat they found her journal and it appears that not only does she write a “gossip” column for a newspaper, but she has also been blackmailing fellow members of society. In the journal, they find a page with initials and what appears to be monetary amounts. Victoria can suggest some possible names of the people who are being blackmailed. But, some pages are missing from the journal and they hope that with what they have, they will be led to the killer. Their searches will take them as high as Parliament.

I really enjoy this series a lot. The stories are well written and plotted. I also liked how the author weaved in new methods of police investigation procedures. Also, the book contains a cast of interesting and enjoyable characters. I particularly enjoyed Aunt Sissy. Sissy was in the first book but has a bigger role in this book. She was instrumental in proving that Lady Adeline wasn’t hanged. I would love to see her added as a member of Beech’s team.

I will be watching for the next book in this wonderful historical series.
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