Bright Young Dead, by Jessica Fellowes
Series: The Mitford Murders #2
Published by Sphere, 11th October 2018
Genres: Mystery, crime, historical fiction
Source: Purchased (second-hand)
Pamela Mitford is turning eighteen and her parents agree to throw her a fancy-dress party at their sumptuous manor house. A number of older sister Nancy’s friends, some of the Bright Young Things, are invited. As the party stretches into the early hours, they decide to start a treasure hunt, all the rage at that time! Things take a turn, however, when dashing young Adrian Curtis is found dead.
It appears that he was pushed from the belltower. The police quickly decide that the murderer is Dulcie, the maid who discovered the body. However, Louisa, chaperone and former nursery maid to Pamela and Nancy, thinks that Dulcie is innocent. Will she be able to uncover the truth before Dulcie is sentenced and most probably hanged?
This is the second book in the Mitford Murders series, but I think that it read very well as a standalone. I really enjoyed it and it felt like a classic Poirot-esque whodunnit. With a whole cast of characters, all with their own secrets, whether related to the murder or not, it was fun trying to work out who did it.
Among the host of characters was one in particular which I found very interesting: Alice Diamond, the head of a gang of female criminals, the Forty Thieves! I just love the idea of female gangsters and I would definitely read more about them.
I also enjoyed the short chapters as they helped with the rapid pace of the story.
Ultimately, I was a little disappointed with the ending. I enjoyed the anticipation ahead of the revelation, but the final motive behind the murder didn’t convince me.
But I still enjoyed the book and I would be interested to read others in the series.
My rating: 4/5