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Publisher's Summary

In Dianne Freeman’s lighthearted mystery series set in Victorian England, the American-born Countess of Harleigh uncovers more deadly intrigue among the uppercrust....

For Frances Wynn, widow to the late Earl of Harleigh, life has a cosmopolitan flavor of late. No sooner has she sent her mother and daughter off on a shopping trip to Paris than she and her fiancé, George Hazelton, are socializing with visiting members of the Russian royal family. Yet amid this whirlwind, scandal also comes calling when Inspector Delaney turns up outside Frances’ house with a young French woman and a shocking claim: She is Mrs. George Hazelton.   

As the future Mrs. George Hazelton, Frances assumes the woman is either lying or demented. “Mrs. Hazelton", aka Irena, makes other outrageous statements. Among them, she insists that she is the illegitimate daughter of Russian royalty, that she has been abducted and held for ransom many times, and that someone is sending her threatening letters. When George arrives, he clarifies that he is certainly not married to Irena - though he can confirm her royal parentage. But even as he agrees to investigate whether Irena’s life is in danger, her claim proves tragically true. Irena is found strangled in Frances’ garden. To uncover a killer - and clear their own names - Frances and George must determine which of Irena’s outlandish stories were based in fact, and who stood to benefit from her death. And as the search reaches a shocking conclusion, they may find that villainy lurks all too close to home....

©2021 Dianne Freeman (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Fiancée's Guide to First Wives and Murder

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  • A.G. Lindsay
  • 08-08-2021

Not the best of the series. start somewhere else

I usually love these books, but the background and new characters were just a bit "off." I know Irina was supposed to be annoying, but she was too much so. Hetty's beau seemed added just to transport them from one place to another.

Also, about halfway through I knew who the killer was and was annoyed that Frances and George seemed deliberately dense not even look in that direction. Then, when they did it was sort of just the mention of a possibility and back to "oh well, let's just beat this other dead horse," and not even ask the obvious questions.

Still, it's a fun listen and Sarah Zimmerman seems just the right reader for these books.

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  • EmEmGee
  • 25-08-2021

Absolute love for the Countess of Harleigh series!

The fourth book did not disappoint. I don’t know if there will be a fifth book, but I will wait eagerly to ready if there is. In the meantime, I might just go back to book one and read the series again.

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  • astrea333
  • 30-08-2021

Great Series!!

I love this series and narration! I took one star off for this performance because the word 'theater' has three syllables, not two. It really broke the flow of the narration for me because the word is said a lot in this book.

Nevertheless, I can't wait for the next in the series!

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  • TeaMonster
  • 27-08-2021

I’m Here for the HEA

At first I was a little worried that the book was an excuse to keep our detective away from her George for awhile longer and I was dreading it. I hate when a mystery series puts a couple together and breaks them up constantly to drag it out—that’s where I get off the train.
But it becomes clear maybe a third of the way through that the author’s goal seemed more to want to cement the relationship through the weathering of hard times together. If George previously had any doubts about Frances’s affection he shouldn’t now.
Overall this was a pleasant addition to the series but not grade A. I’m not super fond of Hetty’s new love interest but maybe he’ll grow on me. I suspect he was added largely to give more scope for future mysteries: Lady Harleigh goes to the theater and actor dies onstage, and all that.

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  • JALE
  • 01-08-2021

terrible narration

Once again a jolly little story, but the narration was dreadful. Bring back Karen Cass.

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