Olive Belgrave, Lady Detective, London, 1923

TitleMurder at Archly Manor AuthorSara Rosett

  • Genre: Cozy mystery, fiction, historical fiction
  • Words to describe: Cozy, easy-read, 1920s
  • Rating: 3/5 stars

Read if you…

  • Want a book you can curl up with
  • Are in the mood for a relatable aristocrat
  • Like books set in the Roaring ’20s

A high society murder. A spirited lady detective. Can she out-class the killer before an innocent person takes the fall?  

I stumbled on these “cozy mysteries” series, that follows sleuth Olive Belgrave. She’s college-educated in America, but has returned to London to find work. She’s having trouble, though, because though she is well-read and well-bred, she’s never taken a “typing correspondence.” So, with money woes in mind, she takes on solving a mystery.

Olive is just as likable as Nancy Drew, and the mystery is as thought out as an Agatha Christie one, though without quite as much mood and intrigue.

Alfred burst into the upper crust world of London’s high society, but his answers to questions about his past are decidedly vague. Before Olive can gather more than the basics, a murder occurs at a posh party. Suddenly, every Bright Young Person in attendance is a suspect, and Olive must race to find the culprit because a sly murderer is determined to make sure Olive’s first case is her last. 

Olive solves the mystery and begins making a name for herself as a decent sleuth. I loved how the mystery was “simple,” in the sense that I could sit back with a cup of tea and imagine myself sitting beside a cozy, crackling fire, and listening to Olive’s sleuthing from an old-time radio.

I can see Olive Belgrave becoming this generation’s Nancy Drew. She’s just as witty and likable, brave and deliberate. And with the help of just as likable friends, it makes for a great story.

I also love the 1920s London setting, complete with the trappings of wealthier and aristocratic families, fancy parties, and outfits. It’s a lovely foray into the Roaring Twenties.

*Originally published February 24, 2020.

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