Career diplomat Alec Halsey has been elevated to a marquessate he doesn't want. His lover has decided she won't marry him after all. What's more, the suspicion that he murdered his brother still lingers in London drawing rooms. So returning to London after seven months' seclusion may have been a mistake.
Alec's foreboding deepens when a nobody vicar drops dead at a party-political dinner, he witnesses the very public humiliation of an up-and-coming portrait painter, and his rabble-rousing uncle Plantagenet is bashed and left for dead in a laneway. When the vicar's true identity is revealed, Alec suspects the man was poisoned. But who would want a seemingly harmless man of God murdered, and why?
Lucinda Brant's Alec Halsey mysteries explore the darker side of her deliciously romantic 18th century world. Along with trademark wit and high drama there are deeper subplots and even quirkier characters that will have you shuddering and laughing in equal measure!
2012 Australian Romance Readers Awards finalist
©2013 Lucinda Brant (P)2015 Lucinda Brant
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"Deadly Smart and Sexy to Boot!"
I read this book when it first came out and what I said then still holds true. While Lucinda Brant is a modern author her writing is fresh and always well researched, but she writes with shades and shadows of historical romantic fiction of a generation or two ago. Minus the purple prose, thank God! She doesn't shy away from those facts of 18th century life which as modern readers we wince at. She stays true to the social morays of that period, and explains without info dumping about the politics of the time, and that is why I enjoy and respect her work so much.
I love the Alec Halsey mysteries, and the great cast of supporting characters. They are all here from Selina the love of his life and their complicated long time love for one another, to his irrepressible Uncle Plantagenet, with his unrepentant Republican view point. Of course his Godmother the indomitable Duchess Romney-St.Neots, who always makes me laugh and who I want to be like when I am a woman of a certain age. Please let’s not forget Tam his loyal young valet and brilliant young Apothecary student. But with the returning characters, you also have new characters some so loathsome you want to slap them, and others who you root for, and in this one the mysterious young woman at the heart of the matter.
While I love all Ms. Brant’s novels the Halsey series has a special place in my heart, Alec is one of my book boyfriends and I love spending time with him. The 18th century is such an opulent time and Georgian London and Bath had it all, from all that glitters to grinding poverty and Ms. Brant portrays this brilliantly.
As for Mr. Alex Wyndham’s performance. He’s wonderful, and I just think that he adds so much to the story. As most anyone that listens to books regularly, as I do, you know how important that is. It can’t be easy to nail not only the regional accents, but make female voices sound feminine without sounding ridiculous. So BRAVO Mr. Wyndham I can’t wait for Deadly Peril!
"Wonderful story, cliff hanger ending"
An intriguing mystery. I usually do not read mysteries but since I have become a big fan of Lucinda Brant I decided to purchase this book and it was a very wise decision. I am a huge fan of romance but the well developed mystery and the fine web will seen together had me attached to the book until it I finished it all in a day. Alex Wyndham's performance was fabulous as usual.
"4-5 stars: Great Character Development"
I'm torn whether to give this 4 or 5 stars. I want to give it 4 1/2 just because there were times when I felt like I was getting lost in the details of the characters and who was connected to whom. HOWEVER, it was an excellent book. Ms. Brant is a great writer and absolutely knows her characters and the time period. (SPOILER: From my own personal perspective, if I understood the implications, Selina apparently 'ended' previous pregnancies due to her understandable hatred for her husband did take away from my appreciation of her as one of the main characters --- which was a disappointment to me in this book.) I "LOVE" Tam/Thomas and Uncle Plant and, of course, Alec. I look forward eagerly to the rest of the series and would recommend this series to most anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a strong dose of reality woven through it.
The narrator absolutely gets 5+ stars.
"What a plot! !!!!!!"
Book number two, what can I say? This one had me hooked from beginning to end. The storyline was brilliant. The author has me salivating for more of Alex, Tam, Uncle Plantagenant and Selina. This was a really good book. Bring on books three and four!!!
Brilliant book, brilliant audio book.
as always I recommend this to anyone who loves a great mystery.
"Intriguing , a great mystery"
Lucinda Brant seamlessly combines romance and mystery in this second of the Alex Halsey's series. Suspense and surprise abound and I love the passionate relationship between Alex and Serena. All of his characters are complex, with flaws and strengths brought to light as the story continues. The concept of being open to new ideas and the necessity to know the facts before making a decision, espoused by both Alex and his uncle is clear throughout the series. Alex is loyal to friends but able to expand his understanding of less than friendly characters like Lord Cleverly and even change his attitude towards him. The narration is amazing, clearly separating and making unique each character.
"You won't be disspointed ..."
Yes! - because it has everything! - a great mystery, a great romance but not of a generic nature, it's not that kind of romance that has a token plot wrapped around it to provide a wishy washy chance for a roll in the hay. This is so much more - it's a fine mystery, one that would stand against the best mysteries without a doubt. It's a romance that is sweet and deep, complex and simple. All together makes for an awesome read/listen.
When the Vicar dies. Oh boy. It's memorable because it's not just an Agatha Christie styled scene of someone falling over the dead body and exclaiming "Oh no, he's dead" - there is a very intricately written death scene that I had to refer back to when the story unfolds for the clues I missed. Talk about hiding in plain site! Bravo!
Yes I have, I have listened to other writers works narrated by Alex and I am so grateful for the opportunities I get to listen to him bring a fictional work to life.
Alex Wyndham MUST be Alec Halsey!
Bring on the next one please....!!!!!!!
"Really enjoying Alec Halsey's story"
This series has been fun to listen to. Enjoying the narrative, he brings the book to life.
"Another Great Story!"
Another great story & multiple plots from Lucinda Brant & expertly narrated by Alex Wyndham...he really is Alec Halsey. So many twists & turns & multiple emotional upheavals...this book has everything you could want...part romance & part mystery...I just loved it & am anxiously looking forward to the next in the series!
"Lovely Historical Mystery"
I'm enjoying this series but just don't like the abrupt 'to be continued' at the end. This leaves you with a cliff hanger of an ending. I enjoy everything about this book except the way the author is bring forth Mrs. JL
I really don't see why every one has to give her so much slack for spreading her legs like that, and her excuse being that she was married to the horrible Mr. JL. Is everyone forgetting or blind to the fact that she choose this JL over ALEX, just cause he didn't have a title!!
"Definitely an affair to remember!"
I would recommend this book to anyone! The story is the second in the series, the first being Deadly Engagement. It's an exciting murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end Also the love story between the main character Alec Halsey and Selina is intertwined within the plot which makes this a truly enthralling read.
My favourite character in this book Plantagenet Halsey, the main character's uncle.He's a lovable old rogue who injects a touch of humour to the story.
Alex Wyndham narrates both books in the series so far. I can't imagine the characters with anyone else breathing life into them. He really does act out the whole story. From elderly gentlemen to young girls, Alex has the talent to make you forget it's the same person speaking for all the characters.
I found Tam's love for the old vicar very touching.
Lucinda Brant has a true gift for writing historical drama that is truly believable. She describes the scene in intricate detail, this makes the reader feel as if they were there in Georgian London.
"Perfect Story with the Perfect Narrator"
Yes I would listen to Deadly Affair again because I find that if I read or listen to a book more than once I sometimes pick up on things I missed the first time around. Forgetting that though, listening to Alex Wyndham performing the book will always be a pleasure and that in itself would make me listen to this book more than once.
Funnily enough although there are many likable characters, especially of course the main character Alec Halsey, I actually think Tam, Alec's Valet and apprentice apothocary is my favourite character. He is so sweet, helpful, and so modest. He helps in so many ways, be it looking after injured people, spying on people, or even being a midwife. He deserves so much more in life than he has, and in this book he starts to get it which I love.
Rather than ask what I liked about Alex's performance, the question should be what DON'T I like about it. It's much easier to answer that one, because there is absolutely nothing that I don't like. Alex is the perfect narrator, in fact he doesn't just narrate books, he performs then. His acting background makes his story telling amazing. He is an absolute pleasure to listen to because he makes each character come to life. Lucinda made the perfect choice in hiring Alex to make her books even better.
Alex Halsey, accused yet not guilty of murdering his brother, now finds himself a suspect in another murder. Can he prove that he is not the culprit.
Yet another perfect combination of a Lucinda Brant novel with Alex Wyndham's performance/narration.
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