A Murderous Tryst

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Pub Date 03 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2023

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The past rears its gorgeous head… 

Deeply distressed to discover her husband lied about his whereabouts the day before, Beatrice, Duchess of Kesgrave, emerges from a wretched night’s sleep to discover him embracing the most beautiful woman she has ever seen.

His former mistress!

It is shocking, yes, but not so very alarming, for Penelope Taylor is actually there to see Bea. Her dearest friend has been brutally slain, and as Millicent Lloyd happened to be sleeping in the courtesan’s bed at the time, Mrs. Taylor is the only suspect. The magistrate is impatient to cart her off to Newgate and refuses to acknowledge the truth that is glaringly obvious to her: She was the intended victim.

Poor Millie, murdered in her stead!

Persuaded by the evidence, Bea accepts the assignment, launching an investigation to prove the innocence of her husband’s former lover, whose fond recollections of her liaison with the duke confirm she is anything but innocent. Following the clues—and the trail of broken hearts discarded by Mrs. Taylor—Bea realizes she is looking for a villain more diabolical than any she has ever known.

And this one will not hesitate to strike again.

The past rears its gorgeous head… 

Deeply distressed to discover her husband lied about his whereabouts the day before, Beatrice, Duchess of Kesgrave, emerges from a wretched night’s sleep to discover...

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ISBN 9781942218838
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Average rating from 53 members

Featured Reviews

Things aren’t as they seem!

Oh my! Bea certainly has a lot to contend with. Bea’s rattled! The Duke has been missing from their bed for a night. When a distraught Bea come downstairs the next morning she finds her beloved husband Damien clasped in the arms of a glamorous female. A female who turns out to be Kesgrave’s first mistress, Mrs. Penelope Taylor!
What?! Of course Bea’s heart sinks and she falls back on her painful memories of Aunt Vera’s responses to such a situation. Bea is both shaken and traumatised, but determined not to show it.
It seems Penny has been accused of murder. Actually Penny’s desperately trying to avoid Newgate. As a former mistress Penny does the unthinkable thing in society’s eyes. She asks for help from Bea. Bea’s response is just as shocking. She says yes. Kesgrave is as usual inscrutable.
Of course this is the beginning of a harebrained chase, complications between Bea and Amien, and an investigation of the various protectors who’ve all vying for Penny’s favors. That chase will turn out to be most dangerous and complicated.
Penny, Bea and Kesgrave! A scandalous puzzle for society, but in the end perfectly reasonable to Bea.
Once again Bea and Kesgrave rattle society.
Another enjoyable and surprising read featuring this most unusual regency couple, Beatrice Hyde-Clare, Duchess of Kesgrave and Damien, Duke of Kesgrave.

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

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Duchess Bea is up to her old tricks….solving murders. But this time her husbands first mistress has been accused of murder, swears she’s innocent and asks for Bea’s help….awkward! Bea believes this woman…Penny…and despite the odd connection, she wants to find the real killer. To add to the drama, Bea is pregnant and Damian her husband isn’t keen on the flying around town chasing killers. Of further interest. Damian meets his long unknown half sister Verity Lark (tie into that series) and is working through the implications. A great edition to this series…. can’t wait for more

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If you haven't read any book in the series, this review is for you! :)
I discovered Bea in this book, and realized too late that it was part of a series. It could definitely be read as a standalone; I didn't feel the urge to go back and read all the books before this one. However, if you are yourself an amateur sleuth and like to figure out who did it as you read, there are a few instances where it spoils one or two previous stories in the series. So, if you love mystery in a Regency era, go back and read from the first one. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
I enjoyed the main couple, Bea and Kesgrave. The romantic subplot is strong, but not overwhelming. I love Romance, so this was a plus for me. I love the dialogues; the characters are all funny in their own way. It's very well written, witty and entertaining. The pace was fast; I wanted to read on, and I am proud to say I figured out a few things before they were revealed. I'll definitely be reading another adventure with Bea and her duke!

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I continue to enjoy this series from Lynn Messina and am in constant awe of the level of detail she puts into the books, especially as they usually only take place over a few days. Beatrice, Duchess of Kesgrave and her husband certainly know how to get an investigation underway and wrapped up quickly!

I find I have to really focus on the books in the series when I read them. I can't let my mind wander or else I'll miss some details. This can make it hard for me to get through, sometimes, unless I'm in the right mood.
I also find that there is a lot of 'inner monologue' text; we really get to know what Beatrice is thinking about, but sometimes, I feel it comes at the expense of moving things along. I also can't help but wonder how quickly Beatrice's mind works because some of the inner monologue can be a few paragraphs before she speaks to another character; if it all takes place within mere seconds, that is a really fast mind! As a result, it comes across a bit unrealistic.

Increasingly in this series, I find it becomes more and more important to have read not only the previous books of Beatrice's investigations, but also the spin-off series for Verity Lark. There are pertinent details raised that may make it challenging for the books to be a standalone.

In this book, I enjoyed the mystery at hand and the unusual situation it puts Beatrice in, essentially forced to investigate a murder for which her husband's former mistress is the main suspect. We meet some new characters, some smart, some are entertaining idiots, as well as revisit some characters introduced in earlier books. I was pleased that we barely spend time with Beatrice's family as her aunt (who is in it briefly) and her uncle (who is mentioned but not present) are very annoying (they are meant to be annoying, so well done to the author for succeeding on this front!).

I felt that there were good clues planted along the way that when the murderer is identified, it makes sense. There are also some red herrings, which any good mystery will have.

I also like the ongoing relationship growth between Beatrice and Damien, especially as they move closer to becoming parents (the pregnancy reveal was in the previous book, so no spoilers here!).

I look forward to reading more in the series!

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A delightful read as always! it’s full of the analytical musings of Bea, and the witty banter between her and Kesgrave. This is the eleventh Beatrice Hyde Clare Mystery (12th if you count A Boldly Daring Scheme). If you want to do yourself a favor, go back and read all of them, they’re on Kindle Unlimited. I listened to the first 10 on Audible, and the narration was excellent. Anyway..

This one opens on Bea discovering that the Duke of Kesgrave has lied about his whereabouts, and then he proceeds to get home after she goes to sleep and eschews their bedroom for his own. By this time, Bea has built up the lie into the Great Fabrication, and has devolved into her insecurities. When she wakes the next morning, he’s embracing his former LOVER, Mrs. Penelope Taylor, in their entryway, (WTH Kesgrave??)

It follows that Penny has been falsely(?) accused of a murder and is seeking Bea’s help to resolve it. Even as this woman continues to flirt with Kesgrave right in front of her, Bea is relentless in solving the case with the help of Kesgrave and their coterie of friends.

I have to admit that my heart beat a little faster when Bea put herself in perilous situations while she was with child. Having been pregnant, I know she’s not infirm, but TAKE CARE, BEA, I HAVE GOT TO SEE THAT CHERUB ONE OF THESE DAYS.

Overall, a winner from Lynn Messina. I didn’t guess the ending, and this book had everything I want from a cozy mystery.

Thanks to NetGalley and Book Whisperer for the advanced copy of this book. It was my pleasure to provide a review. :)

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I am a huge fan of Lynn Messina’s and have loved the Beatrice Hyde-Clare stories.

I enjoy reading books that are intelligent and clever. I have a tendency to skim but Messina makes me read every word.

Start at the beginning of the series and read through! You won’t regret it!

I think I have read all of her regency stories. I look forward to finding out where things go next for the family.

I just reviewed A Murderous Tryst by Lynn Messina. #AMurderousTryst #NetGalley

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Buckle up! The roller coaster takes off immediately in this twelfth installment of the delightful Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. The sensitive part of me always feels for Bea when she's put in difficult situations and when her insecurities pop up. This time, she believes Damien has lied to her and possibly lost interest in her. On top of that, his first mistress shows up asking for help, as her friend has been murdered. In classic Bea fashion, she's less bothered by the mistress' presence than by the lie, which she calls The Great Fabrication. Hilarity and a fast-paced investigation ensues.

I love how tight the timeline of these books is. This story is happening a few days after the last Bea book and starts on the same day that Damien and his sister Verity meet in Verity's second book. You don't need to have read the other books to appreciate the mystery, but it sure is more fun if you have because each story feels like a continuation of the adventure.

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Lynn Messina always delivers!

I have read all the books in the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series as well as in the Verity Lark series and I am never disappointed!

I love the wit and sarcasm of the characters, their precise depictions and quirks.

Bea never fails to amaze me and her investigation is well thought out as always. Up until the very end I could not say with certainty who the culprit was. All the more to make me keep on readying and finish the book in just one sitting!

Can't wait to see what the future has in store for Bea, Kesgrave and the little cherub!

I received an advance copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily, thanks to the author for it.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the Beatrice Hyde Clare series and am a huge fan of Lynn Messina. In this addition, A Murderous Tryst, Beatrice Hyde Clare, Duchess of Kesgrave has some grave concerns. First, she catches her husband Damian, Duke of Kesgrave, in a lie which she dubs the great fabrication and then discovers him embracing his former mistress Penny in their front hall. Not to worry, Penny is there seeking Bea’s help to investigate a murder in which she is the primary suspect. To say the least, Bea is in a rather awkward position, but she takes on the challenge because she believes Penny is innocent.

The book is well written, clever, and entertaining with a fast-paced humorous dialogue. There are plenty of clues provided along the way to help uncover the killer and a few red herrings to throw you off track. It also gives a glimpse into the precarious lives of women on the fringes of respectable society. Bea and Damian are a lovely couple, and the author continues the exploration of their relationship. The portrayal of Bea and her battle to work through her insecurities is realistic. Those deep-seated traumas and feelings of inferiority do not go away overnight. But the author illustrates that Bea’s confidence builds with each case solved, Damian’s partnership and belief in her abilities.

This is a great addition to the series, and I will definitely get a copy of the Verity Lark series as it inhabits the same world. I look forward to seeing what awaits Bea, Kesgrave and the cherub in the future. Can’t wait for the next edition. I highly recommend this book and the series.

Thanks to NetGalley and Book Whisperer for the advanced copy of this book. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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This was a Beatrice Hyde-Clare mystery. I really liked the way this author wrote - it was sophisticated, but also lighthearted. I warmed to Beatrice, and I felt that some of the other characters had quirks and eccentricities that were appealing. I curled up with a cup of tea to read this, and I found it very satisfying and entertaining, exactly the kind of book that suited my mood. I would like to read some more of these.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the next installment of this cozy historical and this is my freely given opinion.

Welcome to book 12 of the Beatrice Hyde-Clare series. The relatively new Duchess of Kesgrave is only a few months into her marriage to the pedantic Duke of Kesgrave, has a pretty solid reputation for being a talented investigator, and is in an interesting condition. Life seems lovely, except for her morning sickness, and intolerance of some things like scents...and news of her condition is starting to spread, as the Dowager Duchess arrives to speak to her, leading Bea to a terrible realization - Kesgrave had lied to her! Possibly for the first time... causing her to spiral down in her thoughts about the deterioration of her marriage.

Did I mention I love Bea? Don't we all have those moments where one thought spirals down and consumes us?

Anyways, as time goes by and Kesgrave fails to return home until late, and d, her negative thoughts consume her... and things come to a head the next day when she dresses and goes to confront him... and finds him embracing his former lover, the beauteous courtesan, Penelope Taylor.

It turns out that Mrs. Penny Taylor, who was Kesgrave's first formally contracted mistress when he was new to London, arrived to Kesgrave House in search of Bea's services as Mrs. Taylor is being taken away by the magistrate after he caught her over the dead body of her friend, fellow courtesan, and virtual look-alike, Millie, holding a bloody hat pin. Mrs. Taylor cannot convince the man of her innocence and is begging the help of the Kesgraves to solve the crime and prove her innocence.

Another cozy historical mystery with a cast of colourful characters and dialogue, with humour, and comedic bumbling. This is book 12 and things could definitely get too formulaic after so many issues, but I did not find this one falling down that route. I continue to enjoy the development of Bea and Kesgrave's marriage and their future together, despite the negative expectations of those around them. We find out more about Kesgrave's lie, and hint - it links to the parallel series about his half sister, Verity Lark.

Also, this story gave me the thought that I would love to see a story written with Kesgrave's voice - like how Lynn Messina did the one-off story from Flora's perspective and with her own adventure. But seeing how strongly we got Bea's perspective and doubts, I would love to see at least one where we get Kesgrave's perspectives and thoughts, especially as his beloved wife puts herself in harms way to investigate things, and now she is pregnant with their child - I would love to know his fears, concerns, frailties and how his thoughts may spiral down as well. Perhaps especially when she is closer to her confinement?

Anyways, this was a fun, warm, cozy mystery about a couple I love and I quite enjoyed it.

4.25 stars out of 5

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Lynn Messina has amazing ability to capture the periods of dukes, mistresses, marriages, murders and mayhem.
Bea, recently married, is now two months pregnant when her Duke, Kesgrave, fails to come home one night, until she awakes to find him asleep in another room.
Very quickly she sees a beautiful former courtesan , Penelope, in his arms who then claims her purpose is to have Bea prove that she did not kill a young woman friend in her bed chamber who looked much like her.
Messina has an eye for vivid descriptions of surroundings, decor, and the characters that put the reader directly in the room. You see and feel the colors and and become immersed in every visual detail.
Initially suspicious and concerned about Kesgrave’s interest in his former lover, the two of them begin to sort through the evidence together. There hovers throughout the book the period’s view
of marriage, privilege, servitude and infidelity.
The Duke discovers a family secret and government secrets pop up.
It’s a whodunit from beginning to end, and the reader may need to turn back to find an overlooked clue.
The choice of title is an apt fit : A Murderous Tryst, is the best book yet of the series with a deep insight into the period and social mores.
As the Duke says, “It is all a great tangle”

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When I first read the description for this book, I was like, please don't ruin Kesgrave for me. No need to worry on that front. Damien is gold. My favorite parts are when Bea and Kesgrave discuss serious topics like Verity's abandonment, and Damien's thoughts on that, the keeping of mistresses. I love these insights into their insecurities and how they help each other deal with them by candid conversations that are never demeaning. I love these two. I love how their relationship is maturing as well and how having a relationship did not magically fix them. That's reality baby. I did not however love Penny. Honestly, that was my main drawback here, sorry, but I'm not going to care about Kesgrave's paramour of long ago who has been passed from man to man since. I didn't have an ounce of sympathy for most of the characters here. I get the exaggerated portrayal of courtesans and their cohorts, but none of them were more than caricatures, which to me diminished the motivation to care for the resolution to the murder. But to all that, I have one word. Nuneaton! I need the Nuneaton book, like yesterday. I do love this series, even if this was not my favorite. I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.

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Bea and Kesgrave are always a good read.
Although this is part of a series it can easily be read as a standalone and is a great read as are the others in this series. In it we see Bea struggling with her self-doubts, still not able to see herself as enough for her husband, Kesgrave. When she finds that Kesgrave has lied to her and then catches him, in their entryway, embracing his old mistress, all her doubts are magnified. But the mistress, Penny, is there for a reason. There has been a murder and Penny is the prime suspect. She has come to request Bea’s help. Placed in this awkward situation, Bea feels she has no alternative but accept since murders are hard to come by and she has a reputation of solving the most entangled murders. Now she must deal with her own fears while being in very close proximity to someone she really never wanted to meet. Mix in some extremely awkward moments, Kesgrave’s own surprises, an unwilling magistrate, a strong headed but naïve young man, and some serious double dealing and you have a fun read with surprises around every turn. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy. This is my review and all thoughts are my own.

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A Murderous Tryst by Lynn Messina tells the story of Beatrice, Duchess of Kesgrave who is an amateur sleuth in Victorian England. This is the Eleventh in a series, but worked as a stand alone. Bea and her husband have a great dialogue. I loved her analytical thinking. It was a delightful novel to read. Thank you to NetGallery and Potato Works Press for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Historical romance,part of a series. Unusual in that the main characters are already married. A mystery or two to be solved,lots of twists,satisfying ending.

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The adventure continues with this wonderfully entertaining twelfth entry in the Beatrice Hyde-Care Mystery series. Often times a series with this many books begins to falter a bit and lose some of its edge, but not this one. There is full-on entertainment on every page and a murder to solve as well. As always, the pages are filled with lively banter between Bea and Kesgrave and the antics of other recurring characters. We make a delightful discovery – Kesgrave has a half-sister -- and we are treated to the most delightfully improbable murder suspect you could ever want to meet. That suspect just happens to be Kesgrave’s former mistress, Penelope, and she is outrageous, entertaining, and over-the-top, but not vulgar. You are going to get a kick out of her!

This book begins just as A Lark’s Flight is ending. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t) there is a spin-off series, A Verity Lark Mystery, that features Kesgrave’s illegitimate half-sister. I was so excited to find out about the spinoff series that I went right out and bought both books in the series – and I’m hoping for many more of those as well. Should you think this is extraneous information and not pertinent to this book – you are incorrect, but you’ll need to read the book to see how.

Bea is in quite a pique! Kesgrave has lied to her and in typical insecure Bea fashion she has stewed, overanalyzed, and blown it into what she calls The Great Fabrication. Not only did he lie, he didn’t come to their bed. She’s up, dressed, and looking for a confrontation with him when she sees him in their entryway embracing a woman! Not just any woman either – it is his former mistress. Oops – now you’ve done it Kesgrave. Except – the woman is there to see Bea and not Kesgrave. Hmmmmm.

Mrs. Penelope Taylor, a breathtakingly beautiful, highly sought-after courtesan who happens to have been Kesgrave’s first mistress, is begging Bea to help her. Mrs. Taylor’s best frenemy was murdered – in Penelope’s own bed – and the magistrate is bound and determined to see Penelope convicted and hung. He may be Penelope’s dear friend, but he’ll see justice done. Only Bea can help her.

Did the murderer get the right victim or did he mean to kill Penelope instead – after all, it was her bed? With a number of suspects to sift through, very few clues, and the magistrate hot on their heels, can they solve the murder and keep Penelope from New Gate? You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

When you mix an indecorous, detecting duchess with an indulgent, helpful duke and then add an outrageous, entertaining, and over-the-top former mistress along with a determined magistrate, you have all the ingredients for a wonderfully entertaining tale. I have loved this series since the beginning and each new entry seems to be better than the last. I highly recommend this book – and this series. I love the characters, the banter, the irreverence, the humor, and the agility of Bea’s mind. I hope you will love it as much as I did.

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

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Beatrice, Duchess of Kesgrave, married and two months pregnant, found that her husband, Damien, is lying to her but before she can ask, his former mistress, Mrs. Penelope Taylor arrives at their home, unannounced. She needs Bea's help to find out who killed her friend, Millicent Lloyd, because she is accused of the murder but she thinks that she was the intended victim. Bea graciously agrees and is presented with a list of all the men that might want Mrs. Taylor dead. As the investigations of the suspects begins, it seems that they all have alibis. In between these interrogations, Kesgrave finally tells Bea why he lied, which was a revelation to him and he needed to sort through it.
An entertaining and delightful adventure in this series in which Beatrice get to the bottom of the mystery while at the same time is introduced to some very quirky suspects along the way.
Thank you NetGalley and Potatoworks Press for this e-galley of "A Murderous Tryst".

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Another fun installment in the Beatrice Hyde-Clare mystery series! I love the inclusion of the Verity Lark story line, and hope the same expansion continues for Flora. Can't wait for them to partner on cases! The banter and love between Bea and Damien is so sweet and their relationship is natural. The final scenes had a lot of great humor with some new characters shining. My only small gripe is Bea's continued low self esteem, her anxieties are consistent with the ones from the earlier books and I do hope to see progress away from that in any future additions.

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