The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception by Katherine Cowley

Book: The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception

Author: Katherine Cowley

Genre: Regency Mystery; Spy; Retelling/Fanfiction

Romance Steam Rating: 2 out of 5 (Hot Cocoa)

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Publication Date: September 6, 2022

Format: audiobook

Audio Narrator: Allison Larkin

Length: 10 hours, 37 minutes

England 1815

It’s been two years since Mary Bennet’s father died and she was recruited as a spy for the British government. When Napoleon escapes from exile in Elba, Mary is sent on assignment to Brussels with Lady Trafford and Mr. Withrow. Ostensibly to visit her sister Lydia, whose husband is stationed there.

Not long after their arrival, officers begin to turn up shot to death. With all of his resources dedicated to an upcoming entanglement with Napoleon’s army, the Duke of Wellington asks Mary and her companions to investigate the murders.

This is my favorite book of the series so far. Mary has grown a lot since she first caught Lady Trafford’s attention, and it really shows in this story as Mary takes on situations, challenges, and moral dilemmas which she simply could not have handled before. She tackles several new spycraft skills including disguises, establishing unknowing informants, the French waltz, and (possibly) seduction.  

The audiobook was narrated by Alison Larkin. She did a great job bringing the characters to life. I especially appreciated the way she changed Mary’s voice when she was in disguise.

Note: This is the third book in the series. I tried to just jump into this one, but I felt like I was missing too much backstory and character development, especially in the case of Mary and her past dealings with Mr. Withrow. I’m really glad I did this. Mary grows so much as both a person and a spy in the first two books, which made her actions in this one much more believable to me.

Side Note: I really like the way that this series explores Mary’s relationships with her sisters. I’m sort of hoping Kitty gets a spin-off book or two.

Thank you to NetGalley, Dreamscape Media, and Tule Publishing for an Advanced Reader Copy audiobook. ⁠

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