A Most Agreeable Murder: A Novel (Hardcover)
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When a wealthy bachelor drops dead at a ball, a young lady takes on the decidedly improper role of detective in this action-packed debut comedy of manners and murder.
“If you grew up reading Jane Austen and Agatha Christie (or are a fan of Bridgerton and Knives Out), you will adore A Most Agreeable Murder.”—Kate Stayman-London, bestselling author of One to Watch
Feisty, passionate Beatrice Steele has never fit the definition of a true lady, according to the strict code of conduct that reigns in Swampshire, her small English township—she is terrible at needlework, has absolutely no musical ability, and her artwork is so bad it frightens people. Nevertheless, she lives a perfectly agreeable life with her marriage-scheming mother, prankster father, and two younger sisters— beautiful Louisa and forgettable Mary. But she harbors a dark secret: She is obsessed with the true crime cases she reads about in the newspaper. If anyone in her etiquette-obsessed community found out, she’d be deemed a morbid creep and banished from respectable society forever.
For her family’s sake, she’s vowed to put her obsession behind her. Because eligible bachelor Edmund Croaksworth is set to attend the approaching autumnal ball, and the Steele family hopes that Louisa will steal his heart. If not, Martin Grub, their disgusting cousin, will inherit the family’s estate, and they will be ruined or, even worse, forced to move to France. So Beatrice must be on her best behavior . . . which is made difficult when a disgraced yet alluring detective inexplicably shows up to the ball.
Beatrice is just holding things together when Croaksworth drops dead in the middle of a minuet. As a storm rages outside, the evening descends into a frenzy of panic, fear, and betrayal as it becomes clear they are trapped with a killer. Contending with competitive card games, tricky tonics, and Swampshire’s infamous squelch holes, Beatrice must rise above decorum and decency to pursue justice and her own desires—before anyone else is murdered.
About the Author
Julia Seales is a writer and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. She earned an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, and a BA in English from Vanderbilt University. She is a lifelong Anglophile with a passion for both murder mysteries and Jane Austen. Julia is originally from Kentucky, where she learned about manners (and bourbon).
“A delightfully entertaining debut that kept me engrossed from the beginning right through to the satisfying end . . . Witty and clever, it’s like something Agatha Christie and Jane Austen might have created were they able to collaborate, only with its own wonderfully unique spark. Be prepared to laugh out loud at the comedy, gasp at the murder mystery, and have a thoroughly great time!”—India Holton, author of The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels
“I adored this: a comedy of manners meets murder mystery, just as thrilling as it is gorgeous.”—Sophie Irwin, author of A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting
“Absurdly entertaining, with twist upon twist upon twist, A Most Agreeable Murder is a most agreeable read! Jane Austen fans will appreciate the insightful observations as well as the wry humor that pokes fun at certain well-known characters and tropes.”—Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo
“An utter delight . . . a fast-paced mix of marriage plot and manor-house murder mystery with something for everyone: a scintillating romance, an intricate puzzle to solve, and layers of snarky, pointed wit that would make Austen proud. I snorted and swooned my way through this book in record speed—it’s some of the most fun I’ve had reading all year. Cozy mystery fans, this is a must.”—Ashley Winstead, author of The Last Housewife
“In Seales’ tongue-in-cheek Regency murder mystery, [the]character types are endearingly familiar to anyone who has ever read a Jane Austen novel, and the dialogue crackles with wit, outrage, subtext, and pluck. The result is a deliciously dark delve into a world that seems genteel on the surface and teems with sex and violence and greed just underneath—not so unlike Austen’s but with a morbid, rather than domestic, bent. Irreverent, satirical, and oh so much fun!”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[An] exceptional debut . . . The intricate plot races along at a sprightly pace, and Seales delights with her sharp humor and accomplished sense of narrative control. Jane Austen fans will be enthralled.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)