The early reviews are in...

The early reviews for Murder in Mayfair are in and I’m excited to be able to share them with you:

Murder in Mayfair by D.M. Quincy

“Dashing and enjoyably melodramatic.”   Kirkus Reviews

 

“Regency London comes vividly alive in this atmospheric historical; the witty prose and well-developed characters will remind readers of Georgette Heyer and Charles Finch.” 
Library Journal, starred review

 

“…cleverly plotted series launch…”  Publisher’s Weekly

 

“The first of a new series, this historical mystery will appeal not only to cozy readers, but also to lovers of Regency romances.”  Booklist

 

“Murder in Mayfair is a delicious tale of intrigue and deceit set in beautifully drawn Regency England. Fans of Thomas Hardy will especially love the set-up, and everyone will be hoping for the next installment of this new series.”
Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The Adventuress

 

“I’ve always been a fan of the Regency novel and enjoyed this delicious tale of scandal and villainy in Georgian England.”
Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Royal Spyness and Molly Murphy mysteries

 

“D. M. Quincys Murder in Mayfair is a quite simply, a great read. The author brings the English Regency vividly to life with a beautifully plotted mystery, a strong sense of place and wonderful characters. Im already eager to read the next Atlas Catesby adventure!”
Emily Brightwell, New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Jeffries mysteries

 

“An entertaining and twisting tale of jealousy, greed, love and murder teeming beneath the precise manners and splendid facade of Regency society.”
Shelley Freydont, New York Times bestselling author

 

“Murder in Mayfair is an intriguing story based on an unusual premise (a nod to Thomas Hardy!) with interesting, sympathetic characters and an unexpected ending.”
Carola Dunn, author of the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries

Working on Edits

I’ve spent the last few days working on edits for Murder in Mayfair.

This means the book is that much closer to publication, which is always exciting for an author. Most of the edits I’ve had to do for Murder in Mayfair involved moving every scene into Atlas’s point of view. That took some time, but I think the result is worth it. 

The story revolves around an amateur sleuth who gets involved in murder after he saves a woman being sold in the public square by her husband.

Murder in Mayfair will be out first in hardback and ebook this summer. The release date is July 11, 2017.

I’ll keep you posted!

The story behind Murder in Mayfair

Anne Wells, the Duchess of Chandos.
Anne Wells, the Duchess of Chandos, by Joseph Highmore. (c) Walker Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Murder in Mayfair begins when amateur sleuth Atlas Catesby comes across a man selling his wife in an Inn Yard. The incident is based on a true story that I found so fascinating, I knew I had to borrow the idea for a book.

In the real story, the buyer was Henry Bridges, the Duke of Chandos, who was on his way to London when he stopped for a bite at the Pelican Inn in Newbury. A stir in the yard drew the duke’s attention. When he learned a man was about to sell his wife, His Grace reportedly replied, “We will go and see the sale.”

Anne’s husband, a drunken inn ostler, had a halter around his wife’s neck. The duke, impressed with Anne’s beauty and patience, decided to buy her himself.

Another version of the story is that Henry saw the ostler beat his wife and, feeling sorry for her, offered the husband a sum of money for her. The story gets a little murky here. One version suggests Henry, a widower, made Anne his mistress. Another is that his first wife had not yet died and that he placed Anne in the care of a vicar’s family.

During that time, it is said, Henry had her ‘educated into a charming person.’

A few years later, in 1744, Anne’s husband finally drank himself to death. Henry’s first wife had died several years earlier in 1738.

The same year her husband died, Anne married the duke on Christmas Day at Mr. Keith’s Chapel in Mayfair.

Impressions about what kind of person Anne, Duchess of Chandos, was are mixed.

Less than a month after her marriage, a gentleman known as Lord Omery remarked, ‘Of her person and character people speak variously, but all agree that both are very bad.’

But at least, according to one account, she remained good to her family.

A wife being sold by her husband.
A wife being sold by her husband.

A man called Mr. Thicknesse recalled meeting Her Grace’s sister in a market place where the pretty young woman was selling groceries.

When he asked her about her relationship with her ducal sister the woman confirmed it was true, telling him that her sister still took notice of them.

‘Though she had many sisters, her sister sent for them all up to London, when she would give them new clothes suitable to their stations, send a servant to show them the sights in town, besides make them a present of money and pay their coach fare back to the country,’ concluding with, ‘What else could she do for we are not fit to sit down to the Duke’s table.’

Anne and her duke had one daughter, Augusta Ann. They were married for almost fifteen years before the duchess died in 1759.

After her death, Henry himself praised his late duchess in the family Register, writing that she, ‘possessed of every good quality…every paper relative to household affairs was left in the most exact order for the use of her surviving lord with directions indexed where to go to each paper, which must have been a work of some months, and plainly showed she was not insensible of her approaching dissolution.’

The duke remarried eight years after Anne died. His third wife was the daughter of a baronet. The couple had no children.