The Mitford Secret by Jessica Fellowes

Published on May 02, 2023

Book cover features an Illustration of a stately 3-story home (Chatsworth in England) located outside of London on a cold evening. There is a group of prominent guests gathered outside the front door. They are dressed in clothing from the 1940s. There is a Christmas tree in the window with white lights. The sky is dark, however, it appears that the sun may be rising. A well-dressed woman has pulled up in front of the house in a Bentley and is standing with her gloved hand on the hood of the car. She has blond hair and is dressed in a red coat with a fur collar. She is wearing pearls. One hand  is on her hip and she is looking at the group of party-goers with a focused expression..

Reviewed by Marybeth Ginsberg

Part of the Mitford Murders Mystery series (the sixth and final book), The Mitford Secret is set outside of London near the village of Baslow during WWII. A large group has gathered at Chatsworth House to celebrate Christmas. Expectations for a traditional holiday have been pared down due to food shortages and limited supplies. As the war rages in Europe, the family reminisces about life before the war when Chatsworth was a different place –"secure and solid, or so it seemed.”

Private detective and family friend, Louisa Cannon, has been invited to spend Christmas with the Mitfords. As preparations are underway, a local woman, a hag claiming to be a psychic appears from the village to share an important message. In the spirit of fun, Mitford sister Deborah agrees to host a séance the next evening. As the group gathers for a séance, the message is directed to Louise. Before long, Louise is suddenly leading the investigation into not one, but two, murder mysteries.

A cast of characters on holiday together in a countryside estate with room to spare propels the action in this work of historical fiction forward. Based on the real-life Mitfords, an eccentric family that was at often at the center of scandal, the book contains a who’s who or glossary of the Mitfords, the Cavandishes, and the Chatsworth’s staff. Period details combined with intrigue to make this a compelling mystery.

Jessica Fellowes is the author of the Mitford Murders novels as well as the New York Times bestselling official companion books to the Downton Abbey TV series. The other novels included in the Mitford series are The Mitford Vanishing, The Mitford Trial, The Mitford Scandal, Bright Young Dead, and The Mitford Murders. 

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



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