This Chick Read: A Useful Woman (Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #1) by Darcie Wilde

Set in 19th Century London, Rosalind Thorne falls from society’s heights to barely living on the edge, after her father ran from his debtors, taking her older sister with him.  Rosalind, left with her mother, who refused to face the truth about her husband, had to give away all of their belongings to pay her fathers debts.  After her mother’s death, she has to rely on the kindness of her Godmother to take her in, learning how to survive on her wits.

That’s Rosalind’s back story, but as the novel starts, all of the above has happened and she is living with a very small staff, in an apartment on her own.  She has a job, of sorts, using her contacts in high society, to help the, for lack of a better term, the “B” wrung of society, invite the correct people to their parties, write correspondence, and work the paparazzi into turning a positive light on whatever it is that will help them rise in society.  She turns out to be very good at this, and while she does not “make a living”, she does trade her services for favors, and guest stays in their households.

Before she had fallen from acceptable levels of society, she had been almost engaged, but definitely in love, with the second son of a Duke.  Now, as his older brother has kicked off, Lord Casselmaine is almost engaged to another young lady, whom Rosalind had a somewhat tenuous relationship.  The three of them become embroiled in the mysterious death of Jasper Aimesworth, and as they unravel the mystery, her skills in society are put to the test, and she has to face possible heartbreak, again.

Darcie Wilde did a wonderful job of giving her readers a detailed look at different levels of London society, during this time.  I loved the heartbreaking sub story between Devon and Rosalind, and also the sexual tension between Rosalind and the Detective hired to investigate the murder.  As each character was revealed, you learned that they were one piece in a very intricate puzzle.  Several times, my opinion of different characters changed, and I was quite surprised at the conclusion to this novel.


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Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

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