Cover Image: The Secret of the Lady's Maid

The Secret of the Lady's Maid

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Member Reviews

There is a lot going on in this book and I loved it. The characters are well developed and the plot was clever. I want to see more of the developing relationship between Adam and Rosalind. I look forward to the next installment.
Many thanks to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Thank you to Netgally, the publishers, and Darcie Wilde

When I requested this book I was unaware that it was apart of a series, one that requires you to read the previous books for this one to make sense. I am unable to read all the previous books along with this one before the publish date. Therefore, I will rate this a fair 3/5 stars and will adjust the rating and review when I am able to read all the books in the series along with this one.

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The Secret of the Lady's Maid (A Useful Woman Mystery Book 2) by Darcie Wilde
Love Jane Austen? Love mysteries? This is the book for you! Scandal! Mystery! History! What's not to love??? One of my favorites!!!

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I am excited to have discovered another new-to-me author, Darcie Wilde. I am so happy to have found her. This was a wonderful and unexpected read for me. Different from my normal historical romances, this was the twist I needed. In this book Rosalind works to help the ladies of the ton with some of their more delicate and secret matters. In this story she is helping Cate be safe and working to find out who is responsible for causing her harm and trying to poison her. Working alongside Adam, a Bow Street officer, she is determined to solve this mystery. Now throw in some sparks between Adam and Rosalind and things get interesting.
I love the combination of mystery and romance with a touch of history and intrigue that this story creates so well. Wilde does an excellent job of creating characters you can connect with. The edge of your seat mystery and romance truly create a wonderful adventure. This is one book in a series and I can’t wait to read the rest.

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Another solid entry in the Rosalind Thorne mystery series. The mystery is compelling, but not overly complex, and Rosalind and team are doing better at actual detecting as opposed to supposedly deducing far too much from facial expressions alone (which has been a peccadillo of the books for me in the past). The family drama and romantic entanglements give it a slightly gothic vibe and the attention to period detail feels atmospheric and contributory, without weighing things down or completely ignoring aspects of the characters' probable realities for ease of story.

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Darcie Wilde immerses the reader in the Secret of the Lady's Maid with murder, poisoning and theft in a Regency household. Everyone has motives and secrets. The Bow Street Runners are after the Cato Street conspirators and do not want to get involved in domestic goings on. How to resolve things so the somewhat innocent get a chance while punishing the guilty in the household. Read this well plotted mystery of manners and poison.

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I was not disappointed and excited to see Rosalind and Adam finally making some progress.
As always, great characters, mystery and an unputdownable story!!

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Another beautifully crafted book in the series. Although the murder case took a while to be revealed, there was sufficient mystery that kept me hooked. Watching Rosalind investigate people while still abiding by society's rules was a delight.

The romance between Rosalind and Adam moved forward enough to make me excited for the next book since it seemed impossible for them to have a happy ending for a couple of books. They make such a lovely couple, but Rosalind's higher-class status makes it impossible for them to get married. Glad that there might be a solution on the horizon.

This review is based on an advanced reader copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.

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I thank NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corp. for an advance reader copy of “The Secret of the Lady’s Maid.” All opinions and comments are my own.

Author Darcie Wilde is back with another in her “Useful Woman” series, and heroine Rosalind Thorne is a useful woman, indeed as she works to discover who is determined to ruin the life of a young lady. And Adam Harkness is busy, too, with a case of treason that involves the highest levels of government. (For long-time fans of the series, there is growth and evolution in the relationship of our leading characters in this book. This is not the place to start for first-time readers.)

Don’t be surprised when these two stories become connected, because “The Secret of the Lady’s Maid” is a wonderful puzzle, worthy of the historical mystery genre, with an especial grasp on time (1820) and place. Our author knows how to set the scene for her readers, presenting a complex tale of family hate and hidden emotions that erupts into violence. Regency society may demand decorum, but the fictional people in “The Secret of the Lady’s Maid’ seethe with pain, anger, and murderous intent. Darcie Wilde knows how to get these points across all too well.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Darcie Wilde for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for The Secret of the Lady's Maid coming out December 26, 2023. The honest opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This is the second book I’ve received in this series. I really love regency era mysteries. I think Rosalind is a strong heroine, but she does have some faults that I don’t quite enjoy. At times I don’t quite understand her motives and wishes, especially when it comes to what she wants in life and her relationship with Adam. I hope she grows more as the series progresses. I think the mystery was really complex and I enjoyed it. There were a couple characters who weren’t as dimensional as I thought they would be. But I definitely love this author’s writing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys regency era mysteries!

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Rosalind Thorne’s quick wits and discretion have proved invaluable to London’s haut ton. Success has at last brought her financial stability and a new home, which she shares with her best friend, Alice Littlefield. But now trouble has infiltrated Rosalind’s sanctuary, and the reputations in danger include her own. Alice has formed a tender attachment to Amelia, the maid in their employ, and her affection is returned. But before meeting Alice, Amelia was involved with Cate Levitton, daughter of a well-respected family, Cate was banished to the house of her widowed cousin. Amelia is stunned when she stumbles upon Cate in the marketplace, looking deathly ill. The women bring Cate to their home with the help of Bow Street officer Adam Harkness, who deduces that Cate’s sickness may in fact be arsenic poisoning. As Rosalind and Adam work side by side, their suspicions grow—as does the bond between them. Rosalind knows that both her blossoming relationship with Adam and her increasing independence would be frowned upon by society.
A well written enjoyable book but I would have preferred Rosalind & Adam to work together rather than separately on two cases, I felt it diluted the book & I didn’t feel as though I was committed to either case. I also felt Rosalind played second fiddle to Adam. I do like both Rosalind & Adam, not my favourite of the series but still a good, well plotted book which did keep me guessing
My review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

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Rosalind Thorne’s aristocratic family is certainly a peculiar one. It houses a father (the Baron) who is a forger and is either dead or on the run and a sister who was a highly sought-after courtesan but has recently married. Rosalind was left to make her way in the world and she didn’t have many options. She could follow in her sister’s footsteps or she could find a way to make herself useful – and charge for the service. So, being useful it was! Over the books in the series, Rosalind has gone from helping ton ladies solve ‘problems’ and accepting whatever ‘gifts’ those ladies wanted to bestow to helping the ladies and having a written contract for services and payment. Even though she is now officially charging, she is still received by most of the ton.

This case involves poisoning and murder – and as an extra case to follow, Adam Harkness is on the trail of traitors. So, two different cases and two different investigators. I had thought we’d spend the majority of our reading time with Rosalind – since it is her series – but it seemed to me that we spent more page time with Adam. Perhaps not, but that is the way it felt to me.

Rosalind worked hard and struggled to identify the culprit in what, to me, seemed to be a simple case to solve. So, again, for me, the more interesting – and disappointing – case was Adams. I say disappointed because people got away with crimes because the Bow Street powers- that be had their own version of the law and justice.

For some reason, neither mystery caught my attention and drew me into the story. I think part of that was the dual storyline and alternating chapters between Adam's story and Rosalind’s story. Perhaps, given the ending of this book, we’ll see both Rosalind and Adam working side-by-side on future cases. I certainly hope that is the case.

Overall, I was disappointed in the book and the characters and would not read it a second time. I want to like Adam and Rosalind and cheer for them as they work together to solve cases, and I hope that will happen starting with the next book. If it doesn’t, then I probably won’t pursue reading any future books in the series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This was another fun entry into this Regency-setting mystery series. I enjoy the pairing of Rosalind Thorne, an aristocratic woman whose family has come down in life, and Adam Harkness, a lower-class man who has risen to be a well-respected officer in Bow Street. They have admitted they are in love, but don’t know how to bridge the class divide since Rosalind makes her living helping well-born women solve various problems, which somehow usually end up involving murder.

The murder plot is intriguing with an appropriate set of unlikable characters as the possible villains. Mr. Harkness has to wrestle with his conscience over possible efforts by the government to ram through guilty verdicts against the real-life accused in the Cato Street Conspiracy. I enjoyed the mixing of history, romance, and mystery and heartily recommend all the books in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.

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I love reading this series. The mystery kept me guessing and I like the characters. Things always move forward. I look forward to more.

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review

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Rosalind Thorne is a such a good characters and the author delivers another well plotted and intriguing historical mystery. I have loved this series from the beginning and this latest story didn't disappoint. Well researched, compelling, an intriguing mystery that kept me guessing although I did think the villain was overlooked I didn't guess them as the bad guy either and finally the romance is getting somewhere. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review

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3.75 stars

Latest adventure of Rosalind Thorne, a respectable but not first rank Regency woman, who has carved a place for herself helping her social superiors solve their problems. Rosalind doesn't quite fit anywhere -- she is in love with a wonderful man who is not a "suitable" match in the eyes of her peers. Her titled father left her immersed in scandal and precarious financial peril and she has to actually earn a living, another strike against her.

Her unusual household consists of her dear old friend Alice, a writer, who happens to be gay, and their maid Amelia, who is a burgeoning love interest for Alice. This plot concerns Amelia's past - she was banished from a rich household after getting involved with the wayward daughter there. That blew over and the family left town but is now back, and the daughter finds Alice and asks for help before collapsing near death. It turns out she has been poisoned, and when Rosalind begins to investigate, she finds out the daughter is not the only member of the family at risk.

Meanwhile Rosalind and her Bow Street sweetheart Adam are having difficulty navigating their course together and contemplating the future. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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The Secret of the Lady's Maid is the seventh in the Rosalind Thorne Historical Fiction Mystery series. Regency London is a fascinating time in history to read about, especially class differences. shifts in crime and policing and the roles and occupations of women in the ton and slums.

Rosalind is now financially secure as a "useful woman" to the upper crust, solving dilemmas for them. She and her dearest friend Alice live in a house together and make an excellent team. But they see a very sick woman in the street which leads to a possible poisoning crime. With the help of Rosalind's gentleman friend Bow Street runner Adam. the ladies inveigle and investigate. We see glimpses of romance, London underworld, politics, intrigue, Privy Council issues and Bow Street runners at work. I really like the historical details, as always.

Though I am enamoured with this series, this installment isn't my favourite. However, I am curious to see what is in store next!

My sincere thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this engaging novel.

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Well this was an exciting read!

Adam Harkness, of Bow Street, is watching a group of men meeting at Cato Street, London who are purported to be hatching a plot to murder the Privy Council when the members dine together.
Rosalind Thorne is out with her friend Alice and maid Amelia when they rescue a young woman who’s fainted in the midst of the market, although another woman was very insistent on helping too. Amelia recognizes the young woman.
Adam turns up and helps Rosalind take the young woman safely home.
(Rosalind helps women of the ton who find themselves in all sorts of difficulties.
A conundrum!)
Rosalind finds herself with a possibly poisoned patient on her hands. Adam has a case that’s leaning towards high treason.
Somehow both events are linked.
The denouement is both shocking and dangerous.
One of the upshots is that Rosalind and Adam find themselves looking into a new future.

A Kensington Books ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

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Discreet Rosalind settles into a new home with her best friend, but their sanctuary is disrupted when they save a mysterious young woman from arsenic poisoning. As Rosalind and Bow Street officer Adam investigate this dangerous puzzle, they bond deeply. But can they find a way to be together?

This is a historical mystery with a romance subplot. It’s a complicated tale with multiple storylines, points of view, and red herrings. I appreciated the diverse cast.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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Thank you, NetGalley and Kensington Books, for providing me with a complimentary digital copy of this book for review.

This book is imbued with a captivating blend of historical mystery and subtle romance.

At the heart of the tale is Rosalind Thorne, a resourceful female detective dedicated to aiding high-society women who find themselves mired in perplexing predicaments. In this particular installment, her keen intellect and intuition prove instrumental in assisting three women and unraveling a murder mystery. The narrative astutely delves into her professional life and provides an insightful glimpse into her world, enriching her character portrayal.

Jack Harkness, a steadfast Bowstreet Runner, emerges as the embodiment of moral rectitude. His unwavering sense of duty resonates profoundly, rendering him a character that readers will find immensely likable.

The narrative crackles with the palpable tension between Rosalind and Adam, their mutual attraction simmering beneath the surface. However, they grapple with the societal norms and familial obligations that threaten to keep them apart, adding a layer of angst to their burgeoning relationship.

Supporting characters, Alice and Amelia, contribute significantly to the story's progression. Their tumultuous sapphic romance is filled with emotional complexity, yet they play a crucial role in driving the plot forward.

The story not only unravels a gripping mystery but also delves into the complexities of human motives, making solving the mystery an exhilarating experience. The narrative's compelling nature encourages readers to follow Rosalind and Adam's journey closely.

Despite being the seventh installment in the Rosalind Thorne series, the book can be appreciated as a standalone read. As a first-time reader of the series, I can affirm that I didn't feel like I missed out on anything.

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