A high society amateur detective at the heart of Regency London uses her wits and invisibility as an ‘old maid’ to protect other women in a new and fiercely feminist historical mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman.
Lady Augusta Colebrook, “Gus,” is determinedly unmarried, bored by society life, and tired of being dismissed at the age of forty-two. She and her twin sister, Julia, who is grieving her dead betrothed, need a distraction. One soon presents itself: to rescue their friend’s goddaughter, Caroline, from her violent husband.
The sisters set out to Caroline’s country estate with a plan, but their carriage is accosted by a highwayman. In the scuffle, Gus accidentally shoots the ruffian, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who was charged with murder and exiled to Australia twenty years ago. With Lord Evan injured and unconscious, the sisters have no choice but to bring him on their mission to save Caroline. What follows is a high adventure full of danger, clever improvisation, heart-racing near misses, and a little help from a revived and rather charming Lord Evan.
Back in London, Gus can’t stop thinking about her unlikely (not to mention handsome) comrade-in-arms. She is convinced Lord Evan was falsely accused of murder, and she is going to prove it. She persuades Julia to join her in a quest to help Lord Evan, and others in need—society be damned! And so begins the beguiling secret life and adventures of the Colebrook twins.
Praise for The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies
“Fans of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels will savor this mystery from “Dark Days Club” series author Goodman. Well-developed characters, a touch of romance, and cases involving social issues of the period enhance the experience.” –Library Journal, starred review
“Fierce, funny, and often dark, this is an eye-opening portrait of a colorful yet misogynistic period in English history. Readers will be eager to return for the duo’s next adventure.” –Publishers Weekly
“All three adventures are marked by successively mounting complications that fans of either the Regency period or take-no-prisoners feminism will cheer….Think of the Bridgerton novels with the steamy sex replaced by female-forward action sequences.” –Kirkus
“If you love Georgette Heyer, you’ll love The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies. Smart and sassy and featuring heroines of a certain age, this is the Regency I’ve been waiting for. Adventure! Mystery! A touch of romance! This delightful novel has it all!”
–Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of The Plot and the Pendulum
“A vibrant tale of two plucky women of a certain age who craved more from life than merely attending tea parties and balls, The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies is a truly delightful romp through the Regency period. Alison Goodman has crafted a feminist adventure story that will have you cheering on the unconventional Colebrook sisters in all their exploits.” –Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of Her Lost Words
“Fresh and fearless, Alison Goodman’s exquisitely written, impeccably-researched genre-blending novel shines a light in the darkest corners of Regency England. The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies is part heart-racing adventure, part gothic mystery, part tantalizing romance, and wholly wonderful. I can’t wait for the next installment!” –Joanna Lowell, author of Artfully Yours
“A joyous romp through Regency England that is equally entertaining, revealing, feminist, heartbreaking and humorous … The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies is an unexpected delight that blends historical romance with adventure, crime-solving and a bold feminist undertone. This book would be loved by anyone looking for a historical adventure that breaks the bounds of convention to feature women “past their prime” taking matters into their own hands.” –Books+Publishing
“It’s a rollicking feminist romp – think Jane Austen meets James Bond – that breaks the shackles of period genre fiction and liberates women from the forces arrayed against them.” –Sydney Morning Herald