Death at the Emerald (Lady Frances Ffolkes #3)
An elderly family friend commissions Frances to find Helen, a stunningly beautiful actress who vanished 30 years ago. Taking on the role of the Lady Sherlock, with her loyal maid Mallow drafted as her Watson, Frances immerses herself in the glamorous world of Edwardian theater and London's latest craze—motion pictures.Frances' first stop is the venerable Emerald Theatre, where aging actors are still in love with the memory of the beguiling Helen. It seems like a dead end—but one of Helen's old suitors is suddenly murdered. Frances and Mallow beat both the police and killer to a box of subtle clues. However, a stalker, another old suitor of Helen's long presumed dead, threatens them. Will Frances' latest hobby, a study of Japanese martial arts, be enough to save them?Undaunted, Frances and Mallow follow their leads, and along the way get some advice from George Bernard Shaw, star in a motion picture, and joke with King Edward VII. Clues eventually lead them to a forgotten grave outside of London, which contains a mysterious biblical inscription--and a shocking secret. Frances finally assembles the pieces, and with Mallow as stage manager, produces her own play to uncover a decades-old conspiracy, reveal a killer—and find the remarkable Helen.

Death at the Emerald (Lady Frances Ffolkes #3) Details

TitleDeath at the Emerald (Lady Frances Ffolkes #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherCrooked Lane Books
ISBN-139781683313380
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction, European Literature, British Literature

Death at the Emerald (Lady Frances Ffolkes #3) Review

  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    "All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players."And sometimes the role we play revolves around the complicated, the intense, and the ever-changing.Lady Beatrice Torrence, the elderly widow of Sir Arnold, wishes to make amends before that role of hers meets its final act. She beckons to Lady Frances Ffolkes (Yep, that spelling is correct.) to join her privately. Lady Beatrice wishes to be discrete. Her secret has been contained within her heart for over thirty years. Enter Lad "All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players."And sometimes the role we play revolves around the complicated, the intense, and the ever-changing.Lady Beatrice Torrence, the elderly widow of Sir Arnold, wishes to make amends before that role of hers meets its final act. She beckons to Lady Frances Ffolkes (Yep, that spelling is correct.) to join her privately. Lady Beatrice wishes to be discrete. Her secret has been contained within her heart for over thirty years. Enter Lady Frances, suffragist, daughter of a marquess, and a self-made detective who knows well enough to keep the hidden hidden. Lady Beatrice asks Frances to search for her older daughter, Louisa, who fled the Torrence mansion to become an actress so many years ago. Raven-haired and beautiful, Louisa fit the draw of that eye-catching part and would command attention on any stage. It's 1905 in Edwardian London and the scandal would surely cast its shadow over this household. Lady Beatrice lets it be known at social gatherings that Louisa died of a fever on a trip to America. But now, old and remorseful, Lady Beatrice merely wants to know of her whereabouts and to say good-bye to her.So much passage of time will prove to be quite the challenge for Frances. But armed with her lively maid, June Mallow, Frances visits the Emerald Theater. It is here that Frances picks up on a curtain that doesn't seem to close completely. Light seems to pour onto this darkened stage. There are individuals who know more about a dark-haired actress of long ago named Helen than what they are saying. Perhaps Helen is the elusive Louisa who seems to have disappeared into thin air. The trail goes cold when it leads to a grave in the local cemetery. However, as always, it's not over until Lady Frances says it's over.R.J. Koreto presents the third book in the Frances Ffolkes Mystery series. Each book can be read as a standalone in a delightful romp through Edwardian London. Koreto has created his Frances as a bicycle riding, dojo self-defense artist, and a self-proclaimed detective with a niggling desire to solve the unsolvable. Together with her maid Mallow, Frances employs her analytical skills with hard-nosed determination. Koreto gets it so right with time, place, and historical action. Can't wait to see what Lady Frances will be involved in next time. Oh, and be sure to bring Mallow!I received a copy of Death at the Emerald through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Crooked Lane Books and to R.J. Koreto for the opportunity.
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  • QNPoohBear
    January 1, 1970
    A chance meeting with Lady Torrance starts Lady Frances Ffolks on a new career-private enquiry agent. Franny is excited to be the first female private enquiry agent in London and is eager to help Lady Torrance solve the mystery of her long-lost daughter Louisa. Thirty years ago Louisa ran away from home to join the theater against the wishes of Lord Torrance. By the time Louisa's father tried to find her, it was too late- she had vanished. Likely, Louisa changed her name but the theater folk are A chance meeting with Lady Torrance starts Lady Frances Ffolks on a new career-private enquiry agent. Franny is excited to be the first female private enquiry agent in London and is eager to help Lady Torrance solve the mystery of her long-lost daughter Louisa. Thirty years ago Louisa ran away from home to join the theater against the wishes of Lord Torrance. By the time Louisa's father tried to find her, it was too late- she had vanished. Likely, Louisa changed her name but the theater folk are like family and don't want outsiders intruding. Franny is determined to barge her way into the theater and get some answers. She uncovers some puzzling clues and when one of her leads is murdered, Franny knows it was not a simple robbery. Someone wants to keep her from finding Helen. Who could it be? Could it be one of the actors or the theater manager; Lady Torrance's son-in-law who is "someone" in the City or someone else with secrets buried deep? I absolutely love this series. The story feels very modern though it is set around 1905. Elements of this story are extremely timely including equal pay for equal work and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. I can easily see Franny supporting Times' Up and Hal donating his legal services! Obviously, these problems that affect us today are nothing new. The Edwardian era was a time of change for women when they began to speak up. Franny is unconventional and modern but the excuse for her behavior is she was educated in America and picked up odd ideas. She never lets her class and religious bias show through, which I really like but this also shows the author is modern and not actually Edwardian. Mallow is more snobby than Franny! They remind me so much of Phryne and Dot in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Franny is not as daring as Phryne but is certainly paving the way for Phryne Fisher, Kate Shackleton and the other female sleuths that appear in the 1920s and 30s. Franny has cold feel about marrying Hal. I understand her concerns and would be worried about the same things, but Hal has proven time and time again that he isn't as conventional as he appeared at first. She should trust him more. No love interest for Mallow but I think she could use one. She had one but he seems to have been dropped from the plot. I dropped my rating to 4 stars instead of 5 because the story really relies on too many coincidences. I figured out Act II of Franny's little play long before she did. I probably would have quit when I figured that out and NOT gone to the lengths Franny did. I also didn't like how she broke the law to get crucial evidence and pulled strings to skirt the law. Even so, I loved the book so much I couldn't put it down. I managed to get halfway through before being too tired to continue last night but when I couldn't sleep this morning, I had to finish! The mystery was so complicated and involved so many people. Lady Torrance, like many women of her generation, had to put up with a lot from her husband, who does not seem like a good man, though not any different from any other peer. I like her strength and her willingness to accept the truth no matter what. She sounds like a loving mother who never stopped loving and longing for her eldest daughter. Louisa sounds like she was more headstrong and determined than Franny but finally grew up enough to realize what she wanted. I admire her for that. I identify a lot with her and her longing for independence. I wasn't sure what to make of her sister Sarah, Lady Freemantle or her husband at first. They seem like they could be complicated characters but aren't fleshed out much. Then we have the men who loved beautiful Helen. One loved her like a father, one loved her truly, one loved her madly and one loved the thrill of the chase. She was a Victorian Helen of Troy. I felt sorry for Mr. Mattins. He didn't deserve to die but he wasn't around long enough to get a good feel for his character. I felt bad for Mr. Rusk for not being able to withstand Hurricane Frances! He does his best but seems a little weak spirited. Quentin Prescott is an actor-you know the type. He's a stereotype in every way. Franny didn't like him and neither did I. Braceley needed a stay at a rest home for a good long while to get away from the drama queens of the theater and the lure of Helen. His story was tragic. Then we have the Shropshire contingent who know secrets they can't or won't share. Rev. Samuel Halliday seems like a kind, unassuming man. He doesn't know how to leave well enough alone though and could have ruined the investigation. His parents were Christian do-gooders of the mid-Victorian type Dickens loved to poke fun of but they seemed sincere in wanting to help. Emma Larch is an incredible woman! Franny and I are impressed by women who run their own businesses and families with equal aplomb. She's a little tough on her daughter, Susan, but Susan seems like a headstrong teenager without much sense. Emma is more worldly wise and has her reasons for being tough on Susan. I figured that out quickly. An author's note in the back explains the history of the film industry in Britain. That was a fun aspect of the book and I feel it must still be exciting to see how movies are made, especially in your own hometown. I hear the Ealing Studios tour is quite popular.I will be moving on to this author's series about Alice Roosevelt, an even more outrageous woman than Lady Frances Ffolks but I hope to read more about Franny in the future.
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  • Jessica Robbins
    January 1, 1970
    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...
  • Misaki
    January 1, 1970
    Such a remarkable story and also preferable characters. I am giving my best shot at reviewing this brilliant book that is one of the best mystery novel I have read so far.Lady Frances Efolkes is an aristocracy that her father was a marquess and now her brother. She is leading suffrage club in early 1900's society. This story, as her first female consulting detective in London, begins from submitting by her family friend to locate Louisa who ran away from home to be an actress in a theatre 30 yea Such a remarkable story and also preferable characters. I am giving my best shot at reviewing this brilliant book that is one of the best mystery novel I have read so far.Lady Frances Efolkes is an aristocracy that her father was a marquess and now her brother. She is leading suffrage club in early 1900's society. This story, as her first female consulting detective in London, begins from submitting by her family friend to locate Louisa who ran away from home to be an actress in a theatre 30 years ago. As Lady Frances pursues the trace of Louisa, she immerses herself deeply in this secretive mystery. Besides, she steps in glamorous theatre world to chase the veiled riddles.The plot has full of twists that fascinated and puzzled me till the very end of revealing which sets in dramatic scene appropriate to its splendid ending. Owing to the nicely done writing by author without revealing overwhelming hints, you can pursue the truth of this story by phase.I am also charmed by the characters and cultural background. The behaviors of each characters who belong to different class society are very interesting. Moreover, Lady Frances is tempting to advancement of ladies in society, she rides on a bicycle, lives in elegant residential hotel for ladies, learn Japanese martial art and so on, even some of her behaviors meet with opposition of her marquesses brother. She is extraordinary and her efficient to people around is amusing. Speaking of people around her, the trusting relationship with her maid, Mallow who is always loyal also clever and also the romance and future prospect with her solicitor fiancé, Hal, such a kind heart he has, are my favorite.The detective work that she making it samples by Sherlock Holmes is likable as well.This is the first book I read of this series, as my craving of more mystery I have to start over from very beginning from its series soon.Thank you Crooked Lane books via Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book.
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  • Ayumi
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED IT!!!! The best mystery/thriller book I have read so far this year! I finished this book 2 days ago, and I still can’t get out from Lady Frances’ world!! I’ve been feeling sad that I already finished reading this book, and I’m hoping to re-read it soon!!Lady Frances, a daughter of a former marquess and a sister of a current marquess, is a renowned suffragist and the first woman detective. One day, she receives a letter from an elderly woman, Lady Torrence, who is on her last attempt to s I LOVED IT!!!! The best mystery/thriller book I have read so far this year! I finished this book 2 days ago, and I still can’t get out from Lady Frances’ world!! I’ve been feeling sad that I already finished reading this book, and I’m hoping to re-read it soon!!Lady Frances, a daughter of a former marquess and a sister of a current marquess, is a renowned suffragist and the first woman detective. One day, she receives a letter from an elderly woman, Lady Torrence, who is on her last attempt to search for her long-lost daughter, Louisa, who has changed her name and had started working as a theater actress when she disappeared more than 30 years ago. Frances takes the job, and visits her last known site, the Emerald theater. However, at the interview of “Louisa” with her ex coworkers, Frances soon realizes that they are hiding something. She ends up leaving the theater without any kind of information regarding “Louisa” nor figuring out the name Louisa adopted, but soon finds out one of the interviewees, Mr. Mattins, is stabbed to death right after the Frances’s visit. Someone has killed him to keep his month shut. After his death, Frances sneaks in Mr. Mattins’ room and steals a box that was hidden under his bed. In the box, Frances finds several clues that would help her figure out what has happened to “Louisa” , including the first clue which indicates “Louisa” had adopted a name “Helen”.So the story is about Frances and her assistance/maid Mallow try to identify the killer and to locate “Helen’s” whereabouts. I have read many detective books, but this one was one of the best! Unlike the other books which reveal the killer in the beginning of the story or the ones you can easily guess, you can read this book through the eyes of a detective. In other words, there are lots of investigations involve, and you won’t be able to know who the killer is until the very end of the story! And not only that, the killer is revealed by a great surprise with a very dramatic way, and then you will realize that you have been deceived all along! For that, I praise Koreto for his skillful writing. He is very good at not giving away too much information and details for readers not to easily figure out who is “Helen” or the killer. I also liked the time setting of this story. The setting takes you to the early 1900s of London; Lady Frances being a noble born woman made everything a little bit more fun. For example, Frances and Mallow take advantage of Frances’ ladyship status a lot to interview people without being questioned lol And her social status helps them seek help from the right people when they need it. “ladyship is not accustomed to having her word questioned.”—by Mallow“She(Frances) is not accustomed to answering questioned.”—by MallowI loved how the story reflected a mind and a role of women in early 1900s , too. Although Frances is being a very active feminist (she rides a bicycles, practices martial art, being suffragist and a woman detective, and believes in gender equality), she does however become uncertain and unsure of the choice of her profession when it comes to her fiance Henry. Regardless of Henry being extremely understanding and supportive of her profession, she gets caught up in thoughts of being a traditional wife and what the society expects of her and of her status. This element has expanded Frances character much more likable. Well, in my opinion. Because I think everyone can relate the feeling of the pressure society gives you. What you want to do and what you want to be sometimes don’t fit in the role society expects from you. Although this book is rather a heavy read with many characters and plots, I could finish it in 2 sittings. I just couldn’t put it down! Also, I haven’t read the first and the second books of this series, so I’m looking forward to reading them, too!!I rate this book 5 stars based on the rating below.(1 star: couldn’t finish, 2 stars: made myself finish it, 3 stars: I liked it💕, 4 stars: I loved it💕💕, 5 stars: loved enough to reread it!!)Thank you very much for reading my review!!I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
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  • Jean Kolinofsky
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a review.Lady Frances Ffolkes is a most unconventional character in Edwardian England. She is a suffragist who studies martial arts and prefers to travel through the city by bicycle rather than carriage. She has been involved in several investigations and has now settled into the role of private detective. Just as Sherlock had Watson, Lady Frances has Mallow, her maid who assists her on her i I would like to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a review.Lady Frances Ffolkes is a most unconventional character in Edwardian England. She is a suffragist who studies martial arts and prefers to travel through the city by bicycle rather than carriage. She has been involved in several investigations and has now settled into the role of private detective. Just as Sherlock had Watson, Lady Frances has Mallow, her maid who assists her on her inquiries.In R.J. Koreto’s third installment in this series, Lady Frances is hired by Lady Torrence to find her daughter Louisa, who disappeared thirty years earlier. Louisa is traced to the Emerald Theater, where she changed her name to Helen. She was a beautiful addition to the Green Players and captured the hearts of four men at the theater. The four made an agreement to support whoever she chose, but when she chooses the theater’s accountant, one of them breaks the pact. With her husband murdered, Helen disappears. When Lady Frances begins asking questions at the Emerald, one of Helen’s former suitors is murdered and she finds herself being followed by a threatening figure. She is not one to give up and is determined to discover Louisa’s fate and put Lady Torrence’s mind at rest.Koreto uses illusion and misdirection to hide the identity of Lady Frances’ stalker and Helen’s fate. The investigation takes her behind the scenes at the theater and into a studio in the early days of motion pictures. Her discoveries are often surprising and she reveals her solution using stagecraft at the Emerald. Fans of Sherry Thomas’ Lady Sherlock series or Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series will find an irresistible character in Lady Frances Ffolkes.
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally appeared on my blog: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/With two solved cases to her credit and deductive skills that rival the great Sherlock Holmes, Lady Frances's reputation as London's first female consulting detective is firmly established. In this latest installment, Franny is retained by Lady Beatrice Torrence to investigate the fate of her daughter who disappeared in 1875 after leaving home to join the Green Players theater group rather than become the companion to a This review originally appeared on my blog: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/With two solved cases to her credit and deductive skills that rival the great Sherlock Holmes, Lady Frances's reputation as London's first female consulting detective is firmly established. In this latest installment, Franny is retained by Lady Beatrice Torrence to investigate the fate of her daughter who disappeared in 1875 after leaving home to join the Green Players theater group rather than become the companion to an officer's widow abroad. Seeking peace of mind about her beloved rebellious child, the aging Lady Torrence asks Frances to either find her daughter or proof of her death.Lady Frances, accompanied by her loyal maid June Mallow, begins the investigation at the Emerald Theater, home to the Green Players, where she interviews actors and theater workers, some of whom were in the theater's employ thirty years ago and knew the actress. Several had harbored romantic feelings and were unsettled when the actress married someone not connected to the theater and left to pursue a life abroad. Although the information initially shared isn't particularly enlightening to the case, there is a hint of secrets yet to be revealed. And when one of the men recently questioned is found dead in an alley behind the theater, Lady Frances delves deeper into the past, leading her on an at times dangerous path to uncover the truth. She and Mallow work tirelessly and creatively to solve the mystery of Miss Torrence's disappearance and give closure to her family.Death at the Emerald is an engaging, entertaining mystery with a fascinating cast of characters. In addition to colorful theater folk, clergy, and people from different levels of society, there are cameo appearances by historical figures including the playwright George Bernard Shaw: King Edward VII and his mistress Alice Keppel (the real life great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles); and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first female British doctor. There are also amusing references to Sherlock Holmes and a Downton Abbey flair, and I commend the author for his creative detail and historical accuracy. Although the book can be read as a stand alone, once readers make the acquaintance of the high-spirited Lady Frances, they will surely want to follow her adventures by reading the previous two books in the series.Koreto's Lady Frances Ffolkes series features a lead character who is an unconventional woman determined to blaze her own trail -- despite her privileged birth -- in a world on the brink of change. A titled member of the aristocracy, Franny refuses to be defined by accepted social norms, much to the admiration of her fiance, the solicitor Henry Wheaton and the dismay of her brother, the marquess of Seaforth, Undersecretary for European Affairs in the Foreign Office. Unlike her peers, Franny is an alumna of Vassar College and a suffragist. In contrast to other single young women of the time who live with their families, Lady Frances lives with her maid at Miss Plimsoll's, a residential hotel intended for elderly widows. She takes classes in juyutsu and rides about town on a bicycle. Comfortable in her own skin, Frances is considered "eccentric," "odd," and "mad" by those in her own social circle, but this memorable character is anything but that to me. And while each book in the series has a different gem in its title, the real gem is Lady Frances herself. I look forward to her continuing escapades in the books to come.Anglophiles, fans of stories with strong female protagonists, cozy mystery readers, and historical fiction aficionados are sure to be delighted by this series.
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  • Svetlana Tishchenko
    January 1, 1970
    Consulting detective, Lady (marquess’s daughter), a bride-to-be, a leader of suffragist movement all rolled into one very beautiful, smart and resourceful young woman.Would I read more of her adventures? Definitely.Lady Frances knows everything and everyone in London. She can get on with maids and the King himself. She can uncover truth and secrets in a truly Sherlockian style.I loved to read about her adventures, even though the narration was a bit too long in places.The Death at the Emerald is Consulting detective, Lady (marquess’s daughter), a bride-to-be, a leader of suffragist movement all rolled into one very beautiful, smart and resourceful young woman.Would I read more of her adventures? Definitely.Lady Frances knows everything and everyone in London. She can get on with maids and the King himself. She can uncover truth and secrets in a truly Sherlockian style.I loved to read about her adventures, even though the narration was a bit too long in places.The Death at the Emerald is long book. It is not one of your ‘quick reads’. You have to think and follow the thread all the time. Otherwise, you will get lost in all the name, clues and secrets.You’d get a wonderful picture of London’s Society life on the brink of 20th century, including all the progressive and regressive bits and tidbits. You’d also get a non-intrusive insight into upstairs-downstairs relationships of those times. And, of course, you’d get a mystery stretching years and years until Lady Frances came along and unraveled it all.All in all, everything ends well for almost everyone in this story. Lady Frances wins it all, including a wonderful fiancee. (Note to the lovers of chick lit – Fiancee here, as well as the relationship itself, is not the end goal and all consuming passion. It is a relationship of equals, a quiet but steady fire that will burn for a long time).Read on or read ahead. You’ll love it.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third in the Lady Frances Ffolkes mystery series by R.J. Koreto.I was unfamiliar with the series before this installment and it works perfectly well as a standalone mystery. I will be picking up the others in the series.I really engaged with Lady Frances from the beginning. She's intelligent and well spoken and able to take care of herself. She and her personal maid have a sort of Holmes and Watson dynamic (which Lady Frances refers to often). They're engaged by an elderly family acq This is the third in the Lady Frances Ffolkes mystery series by R.J. Koreto.I was unfamiliar with the series before this installment and it works perfectly well as a standalone mystery. I will be picking up the others in the series.I really engaged with Lady Frances from the beginning. She's intelligent and well spoken and able to take care of herself. She and her personal maid have a sort of Holmes and Watson dynamic (which Lady Frances refers to often). They're engaged by an elderly family acquaintance to find out what happened to the friend's daughter over 30 years ago. It's the coldest of cold cases and Lady Frances agrees to investigate while maintaining at least some social decorum.The characters are easy to relate to and well written. The dialogue and narrative flow naturally and are enjoyable. It's a very light fun mystery and the fact that Lady Frances doesn't suffer any real social stigma from her very unconventional lifestyle or habits isn't a deal breaker. It reminds me a bit of Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series or even Kerry Greenwood's wonderful Phryne Fisher books (but more chaste and cleaner :) I enjoy cozy period mysteries and even though Mr. Koreto's Edwardian London isn't slavishly drawn from real history, it's still easily recognizable as London.The mystery itself is well written and the denouement is satisfying.Four stars, well worth a look.Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher
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  • Crittermom
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve encountered few historicals as cleverly plotted as RJ Koreto’s Death at the Emerald. Lady France's Ffolkes is an innovator, a feminist who uses her position to challenge convention, just as her lady’s maid Mallow is the perfect servant - a supporter and confidant who pairs acceptable behavior with acting as Lady Frances’s “Watson”.  Koreto skillfully paints a picture of a society in the midst of change, a society where class means everything.Lady France's Ffolkes is asked to investigate the I’ve encountered few historicals as cleverly plotted as RJ Koreto’s Death at the Emerald. Lady France's Ffolkes is an innovator, a feminist who uses her position to challenge convention, just as her lady’s maid Mallow is the perfect servant - a supporter and confidant who pairs acceptable behavior with acting as Lady Frances’s “Watson”.  Koreto skillfully paints a picture of a society in the midst of change, a society where class means everything.Lady France's Ffolkes is asked to investigate the disappearance of a young woman 30 years previous.  Her family assumes she is dead, but one family friend wants Lady Frances to uncover the truth behind the young beauty’s disappearance.  The trail begins at the Emerald Theater and leads them on a merry chase that begins and ends with murder.  Expect to meet a few historical figures and see how a motion picture is made.  It is an intriguing mystery where women’s issues play an important role.I highly recommend Death at the Emerald to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries, particularly those set in Edwardian times.5 / 5I received a copy of Death at the Emerald from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.--Crittermom
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  • Lisa Millett
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book on Facebook in a contest. What an outstanding mystery it is. Set in the early 20th century in London, England it is a fascinating mystery involving the wealthy and the theater. Lady Frances Ffolkes inadvertently meets an elderly woman of the wealthy gentry who decides to engage Lady Frances to find her missing daughter who has not been heard from for over thirty years. Lady Frances and her maid, Miss Mallow, who is her "Watson" begin their investigation by entering the theater di I won this book on Facebook in a contest. What an outstanding mystery it is. Set in the early 20th century in London, England it is a fascinating mystery involving the wealthy and the theater. Lady Frances Ffolkes inadvertently meets an elderly woman of the wealthy gentry who decides to engage Lady Frances to find her missing daughter who has not been heard from for over thirty years. Lady Frances and her maid, Miss Mallow, who is her "Watson" begin their investigation by entering the theater district where Louisa was last seen. She finds that there was a group of six men who were all enthralled with an actress named Helen. By her sleuthing, Lady Frances deducts that Helen is really Louisa. She traces her to the countryside where it appears that she died of fever 30 years ago. Sensing that everyone she encounters are hiding things Lady Frances believes that Louisa or Helen didn't really die. Traveling thru many small English towns, chasing down a couple of murders and at the same time hobnobbing with Kings and actors alike, Lady Frances leads one on a massive hunt to discover the truth of Helen/Louisa's disappearance. This is an awesome, fast paced, thrilling ride with the outlandish and beguiling Lady Frances Ffolkes as a character you will love. I highly recommend this book to all mystery readers.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Lady Fran and June Mallow are on another case. Asked by a grieving mother to find out what happened to her long-lost daughter, Lady Frances takes on the case.She's led into the world of professional theater, where she learns that what looks beautiful under the stage lights bears little resemblance to the reality. As she is reminded by one of the 20th century's great playwrights, everything in the theater is a lie. It may charm, distract, entertain, but it's all lies.It's up to Frances and Mallow Lady Fran and June Mallow are on another case. Asked by a grieving mother to find out what happened to her long-lost daughter, Lady Frances takes on the case.She's led into the world of professional theater, where she learns that what looks beautiful under the stage lights bears little resemblance to the reality. As she is reminded by one of the 20th century's great playwrights, everything in the theater is a lie. It may charm, distract, entertain, but it's all lies.It's up to Frances and Mallow to listen to the lies, do their research, evade a stalker, and solve the disappearance of the mysterious lady.I am enjoying this series so much and hope Lady Frances and Mallow get many more jewels. Opals, tourmalines, diamonds, topazes, amethysts, bring them on!
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  • Ronda
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite Lady Frances and Miss Mallow venture so far! Bicycle-riding-suffragette-noble turned lady-consulting-detective, Lady Frances and her lady's maid, Miss Mallow, knock the staid and hide-bound on their collective arses--quite literally in at least in one case, as they work to solve a 30-year old mystery that may just include a murder far closer to home. I truly look forward to the next adventures--and think this series would make a delightful on-screen showing along with the likes of Th My favorite Lady Frances and Miss Mallow venture so far! Bicycle-riding-suffragette-noble turned lady-consulting-detective, Lady Frances and her lady's maid, Miss Mallow, knock the staid and hide-bound on their collective arses--quite literally in at least in one case, as they work to solve a 30-year old mystery that may just include a murder far closer to home. I truly look forward to the next adventures--and think this series would make a delightful on-screen showing along with the likes of The Murdoch Mysteries and the Miss Fisher Mysteries.
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  • Cynthia Pratt
    January 1, 1970
    I had pretty much guessed most of the mystery about half way thru book but the process was still entertaining. I am amused by the view of Edwardian life with a little sadness that the Great War is in the future for all these characters. (Not really an HEA coming for them.)
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  • Pam Plagens
    January 1, 1970
    Couldn't Stop ReadingI even enjoyed waiting for a train to pass so that I could open my Kindle app and read one more page.
  • Ruth Feathers
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely little murder mystery.
  • Sherry Priddy
    January 1, 1970
    Was a really good story! Enjoyed. Recommend!
  • The Irregular Reader
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third book in the Lady Frances Ffolkes series. Expect spoilers for the first two books in the review below!________________________________________________________________________________Lady Frances is still turning heads. Having returned to London after the events of the last book, she seeks a way to turn her experience solving mysteries into something of a detective role. Gossip having arrived before she did, Lady Frances soon finds herself helping an elderly dowager find her daug This is the third book in the Lady Frances Ffolkes series. Expect spoilers for the first two books in the review below!________________________________________________________________________________Lady Frances is still turning heads. Having returned to London after the events of the last book, she seeks a way to turn her experience solving mysteries into something of a detective role. Gossip having arrived before she did, Lady Frances soon finds herself helping an elderly dowager find her daughter, missing for over thirty years. Taking to the case with enthusiasm, Lady Frances and her loyal maid, June Mallow dive into the world of theatre, moving pictures, secret pacts, and mysterious stalkers. Determined to prove that she is capable of becoming a real-life “Lady Sherlock,” Lady Frances refuses to give up the hunt, even as her own safety is threatened.I love this series. R.J. Koreto, who also writes the Alice and the Assassin series, does a great female lead. Lady Frances is forward and clever, but her intellect is human, and does not ascend the remote and reptilian heights employed by a Sherlock Holmes. Lady Frances makes mistakes, and overlooks clues, but her tenacity and quick mind generally lead her aright. As a result, the character is very relatable. Rather than feeling like the protagonist is so far beyond you as to be a separate species all together, Lady Frances is like the clever friend you always like spending time with.June Mallow is also a lovely character. Where Lady Frances holds her strength in her boldness and willingness to write her own rulebook, Mallow finds her strength in quiet determination and an unflagging loyalty to those she loves. The relationship between both characters is the best kind of friendship, where each character’s strengths are offset by the other’s weaknesses, and vice versa. The two women may exasperate one another on occasion, but by and large they function much better together.Fans of female-fronted mystery series will love this book. Fans of Victoria Thompson and Deanna Raybourn should definitely add this book to their TBR lists!An advance copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Lady Frances Ffolkes and her intrepid maid/assistant Miss Mallow have another case. Lady Torrance has heard about Frances's previous cases and has hired her to locate her daughter who ran away from home about thirty years earlier. Lady Frances's investigations take her into London's theater world where Louisa fled taking the stage name of Helen. While Frances finds men who loved her, Helen is long gone. When Helen learns that one of the men who loved her has been killed, she knows that she is on Lady Frances Ffolkes and her intrepid maid/assistant Miss Mallow have another case. Lady Torrance has heard about Frances's previous cases and has hired her to locate her daughter who ran away from home about thirty years earlier. Lady Frances's investigations take her into London's theater world where Louisa fled taking the stage name of Helen. While Frances finds men who loved her, Helen is long gone. When Helen learns that one of the men who loved her has been killed, she knows that she is on the right track.Lady Frances and Mallow investigate and try to retrace Helen's path. There are secrets within secrets in this story complicated by the fact that theater folks are used to illusions, secrets, and disguises. Meanwhile, Frances is considering how her work as London's first female private investigator is going to mesh with her marriage to a prominent solicitor. The setting was great. I enjoyed the mystery and thought it was a nicely complex story. I enjoyed the glimpse into the motion picture industry. I also enjoy that Frances is a suffragist while still being part of the upper class and not even really realizing how privileged her life is.Fans of historical mysteries will enjoy this one.
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy of Death at the Emerald, the third novel to feature Lady Frances Ffolkes, set in Edwardian London.Lady Frances is approached by Lady Beatrice Torrence who asks her if she can find her daughter, Louisa, who ran away to become an actress 30 years ago and has never been seen since.I enjoyed Death at the Emerald which is a fun, if slightly preposterous, read. The plotting is suitably melodramatic for an era where the shame of I would like to thank Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy of Death at the Emerald, the third novel to feature Lady Frances Ffolkes, set in Edwardian London.Lady Frances is approached by Lady Beatrice Torrence who asks her if she can find her daughter, Louisa, who ran away to become an actress 30 years ago and has never been seen since.I enjoyed Death at the Emerald which is a fun, if slightly preposterous, read. The plotting is suitably melodramatic for an era where the shame of having a daughter on the stage was too much to admit as it was regarded as one step up from prostitution. I must admit to guessing the main thrust of the plot early on and spending the rest of the novel waiting for "Franny" to catch up. Not that it really matters as most of the charm of the novel comes from Franny and her escapades.I'm not quite sure that the thoroughly modern Franny is possible in Edwardian times (surely the less acceptable in modern day parlance diminutive of her name,Fanny, would have been used at the time?) but I dropped my suspicions and just went with the fun and exhilaration of her character. She is a suffragist bent on not just votes but equality for women, scandalously for an unwed woman lives with her maid in a hotel, rides a bicycle and is learning jujitsu. In other words a modern woman in a period setting. She is also tenacious, indefatigable, smart and witty, mistress of a good put down when required. Death at the Emerald is a fun read and Franny's exploits and one liners had me chortling throughout. I can recommend it to anyone looking for a light read.
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  • Celia
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this third installment of the Lady Frances Folkes Mysteries, where Lady Frances becomes a female consulting detective (I'm sure the first one ever in Edwardian England) in order to locate the daughter of an old family friend. Because she is known as being unconventional and sometimes scandalous to her high society peers, Lady Frances is able to go places where no well-born lady would go, and engage in somewhat questionable activities, such as taking a jujitsu class with a famous I really enjoyed this third installment of the Lady Frances Folkes Mysteries, where Lady Frances becomes a female consulting detective (I'm sure the first one ever in Edwardian England) in order to locate the daughter of an old family friend. Because she is known as being unconventional and sometimes scandalous to her high society peers, Lady Frances is able to go places where no well-born lady would go, and engage in somewhat questionable activities, such as taking a jujitsu class with a famous actress! She is still very dedicated to her suffrage for women cause, but it takes a back burner to her investigation. With her maid, June Mallow (her Watson), at her side, Lady Frances infiltrates the world of the theater with great panache, and even finds herself and Mallow as bit actors in moving pictures. The mystery of the missing woman is quite captivating, and the stakes are high as Lady Frances will stop at nothing to solve it. From the theater to graveyards at midnight, Scotland Yard, and a mysterious stalker, Death at the Emerald holds your attention to the very end, and is certainly a page turner. Lady Frances is a breath of fresh air in proper London society, and is always quick with a wonderful comeback or clever response. Although this is the third book in the Lady Frances Fflokes mysteries, it can definitely stand alone, but I know it will whet your appetite to start at the beginning of the series and see the development of her character. I recommend this book highly and without reservation.I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this book was very entertaining. It's a historical mystery set in Edwardian (early 1900's) London, and the time period was well described, especially the social mores of the time.Lady Francis Ffolkes is the daughter of a marquess and sister of the current marquess. She is a modern woman for her time, however. Lady Francis is a suffragette, rides a bike, and considers herself a female consulting detective. She is hired by Lady Torrence to find her long lost daughter, Louisa, a great bea I thought this book was very entertaining. It's a historical mystery set in Edwardian (early 1900's) London, and the time period was well described, especially the social mores of the time.Lady Francis Ffolkes is the daughter of a marquess and sister of the current marquess. She is a modern woman for her time, however. Lady Francis is a suffragette, rides a bike, and considers herself a female consulting detective. She is hired by Lady Torrence to find her long lost daughter, Louisa, a great beauty who disappeared over 30 years ago into the theater world as an actress.With her trusty maid Mallow, Lady Francis goes to The Emerald Theater where Louisa was last heard of. She finds evidence of a beautiful actress called Helen, who married the theater's accountant and was never heard from again. As Lady Francis investigates further, she finds suspicious behavior on the part of the theater's old guard (managers, dressers, actors) who were around during Helen's time there. Soon after she asks questions, one of Helen's co-workers, Mr. Mattins, is found dead. Lady Francis is convinced the two are connected, and now she has murder to solve as well.The more Lady Francis investigates, the more confusing and misleading the trail becomes. Was Helen really Louisa? Is she still alive? Who killed Mr. Mattins, and why? Lady Francis won't give up until she finds the truth.The characters were delightful and fun to read about. The writing was well paced and the book was an easy read.I highly recommend this book. I had not read the previous two books in the series, but I will be adding them to "to read" list now!Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book! Why, because the mystery was fun, because it was decent as opposed to violent even though there are murders, or full of sex which many authors think they need in their books. Maybe this movement towards sensationalism is an indication towards where our nation's ethos is headed. Also, I liked the tone of the book. It takes place in the beginning of the 20th century in London. The reader learns many little factoids. I especially liked that the vacumn bottle (thermos) and I really liked this book! Why, because the mystery was fun, because it was decent as opposed to violent even though there are murders, or full of sex which many authors think they need in their books. Maybe this movement towards sensationalism is an indication towards where our nation's ethos is headed. Also, I liked the tone of the book. It takes place in the beginning of the 20th century in London. The reader learns many little factoids. I especially liked that the vacumn bottle (thermos) and that movies were emerging! Lady Frances Ffolkes, an advocate of women's suffrage and claiming to be the first woman detective, is a delightful character along with her personal maid June Mallow whom everyone should get to know. They take on an assignment to determine whether the daughter of a prominent widow who has been missing for thirty years is alive or dead. Their adventure takes them to the Emerald, a London theater, where the first clues are discovered and our adventure begins. The resolution pleases all. Now, I'm off to read the three books that came before this one that I was so lucky to win from goodreads. Thx🤗
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  • Becca Debus
    January 1, 1970
    This book was...just fine. Which, after the much more fun first two installments in the series, was a pretty big let down. Unlike in the first two books, I didn't get much development of either Franny as a character, or her relationship with Hal. Instead, things just sort of puttered along, with Hal hardly making an appearance. The plot of this book, as well, was much more lackluster than the other two, and incredibly predictable. I knew where Helen was about halfway through the book, and knew w This book was...just fine. Which, after the much more fun first two installments in the series, was a pretty big let down. Unlike in the first two books, I didn't get much development of either Franny as a character, or her relationship with Hal. Instead, things just sort of puttered along, with Hal hardly making an appearance. The plot of this book, as well, was much more lackluster than the other two, and incredibly predictable. I knew where Helen was about halfway through the book, and knew why she was there only a few pages later. In the end, while it was still a bit of a nice romp with enjoyable sketches of supporting characters, this book succeeded as neither a character driven or plot driven mystery. While I'll keep an eye out for future installments in the series (as I did enjoy the first two) they'll have to be better than this one to keep me reading.
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  • Michael Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Forgot to post this one. Another very interesting read as the amateur sleuth in Lady Frances expands her involvement in mysteries by declaring she is now a 'female' consulting detective. Well paced and logical tale like the two previous ones. We do not have a willy nilly approach where our amateur sleuth stumbles from place to place and is almost injured or killed repeatedly and escapes by shear luck. None of the typical formula here. We have intelligent plotting, well rounded characters, a clea Forgot to post this one. Another very interesting read as the amateur sleuth in Lady Frances expands her involvement in mysteries by declaring she is now a 'female' consulting detective. Well paced and logical tale like the two previous ones. We do not have a willy nilly approach where our amateur sleuth stumbles from place to place and is almost injured or killed repeatedly and escapes by shear luck. None of the typical formula here. We have intelligent plotting, well rounded characters, a clean and correct approach to history and the period and very few short cuts to move the tale along by leaving the reader guessing at some of the clues. Not sure about the Roosevelt series yet. Will have to try the first one and see if the American version is as good as the English.
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  • Homerun2
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsDiverting historical mystery featuring a suffragist aristocrat with a title and her ladies maid. Lady Frances is quite radical for her time, not only for her radical politics, but for her career as a private investigator. She disdains society's rules concerning dress and deportment, takes jujitsu lessons, and is embarking on an engagement to a very egalitarian man.Lady Frances has been asked to find the long-lost runaway daughter of an aging widow. Her investigations unearth some old se 3.5 starsDiverting historical mystery featuring a suffragist aristocrat with a title and her ladies maid. Lady Frances is quite radical for her time, not only for her radical politics, but for her career as a private investigator. She disdains society's rules concerning dress and deportment, takes jujitsu lessons, and is embarking on an engagement to a very egalitarian man.Lady Frances has been asked to find the long-lost runaway daughter of an aging widow. Her investigations unearth some old secrets that lead to murder. The ending is a bit over the top, but the independent Lady and her maid Mallow are interesting and quirky characters and their adventure is entertaining.I received an ARC via Net Galley in return for my honest review.
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  • Jessi
    January 1, 1970
    Thirty years ago Lady Beatrice Torrence and her husband disowned their daughter when she became an actress. She comes to Lady Frances Ffolkes for help finding her daughter before she dies. The mystery will take her into the world of the theater and into a myster decades old. Frances once again teams up with her maid Mallow but this time her husband-to-be also plays some part. I like Hal; he seems like the progressive sort of husband a bicycle-riding suffragette would need. This was a nice additi Thirty years ago Lady Beatrice Torrence and her husband disowned their daughter when she became an actress. She comes to Lady Frances Ffolkes for help finding her daughter before she dies. The mystery will take her into the world of the theater and into a myster decades old. Frances once again teams up with her maid Mallow but this time her husband-to-be also plays some part. I like Hal; he seems like the progressive sort of husband a bicycle-riding suffragette would need. This was a nice addition to the series. It was a little over the top in places but mostly an enjoyable book that I think regular readers will enjoy.
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  • Linda Smatzny
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book free thru Goodreads First-Reads program. This is book three in the series but the first one I have read. Books one and two are on my to read pile and based on this book have moved up the pile. The book is set in Edwardian London and features Lady Frances Ffolkes as the the main character. She is single but living in a hotel, is a woman who works for getting the vote for women and went to college in America. The mystery she is hired to solve is to find a woman who has been mi I received this book free thru Goodreads First-Reads program. This is book three in the series but the first one I have read. Books one and two are on my to read pile and based on this book have moved up the pile. The book is set in Edwardian London and features Lady Frances Ffolkes as the the main character. She is single but living in a hotel, is a woman who works for getting the vote for women and went to college in America. The mystery she is hired to solve is to find a woman who has been missing for thirty years. I like the fact that Frances and her maid have modern ideas for their time period and go against the conventions of their time. The book was a quick easy read.
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  • Cindy Ladensack
    January 1, 1970
    Lady Frances always seems a little more modern and outrageous than would have been acceptable during that time period—one wonders if her fiancé and her family would have been quite so understanding. But it makes for some exciting exploits, and this foray into the world of theatre and motion pictures is an enjoyable one. I did figure out one element of the mystery quite early on, so points off for that. Also have to say that, in light of its feminist sensibilities, it is hugely impressive that th Lady Frances always seems a little more modern and outrageous than would have been acceptable during that time period—one wonders if her fiancé and her family would have been quite so understanding. But it makes for some exciting exploits, and this foray into the world of theatre and motion pictures is an enjoyable one. I did figure out one element of the mystery quite early on, so points off for that. Also have to say that, in light of its feminist sensibilities, it is hugely impressive that this series is written by a man.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Lady Frances Ffolkes is surprised when an old family friend, the now-widowed Lady Beatrice Torrence, asks her to call, and more surprised when it turns out that Lady Beatrice wants to hire her to look for her daughter, missing since she ran away from home thirty years ago. Lady Frances rises to the task, however, even when it appears that danger threatens her and her faithful maid Mallow. She has the support of her fiancé, but is reluctant to involve him in her detective work.
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