Review of a cross between a detective and a romance story: "Last duke standing" by Cheryl Bolen

This lovely new book is a cross between a detective story and a romance novel.

When one morning the Duke of Fordham is found dead in his bed, his brother who was a third son inherits the title and the money. The fiancée of the recently departed Freddie,  Lady Georgiana Fenton, does not believe in a family curse but proves to Alex the new Duke that his brother was smothered. Both set out to find the murderer but can Georgiana rule Alex himself out? He had a lot to gain did he not?

The detective part is well done. The romance part as well with a hero who intrigued with someone so unlike his former love interests and a heroine who has to deal with a brother who resembles her dead fiancé but is a total different person.

The writer paints a society where conservative and reformists split parliament and families and where actresses are kept by wealthy men who pass them on just like we give a cat to a friend. The reformist and the Whig party triggered me in wanting to read up on that.

There is one flaw in the storyline however although it does no harm to the story: Georgiana has read a lot of medical books while trying to nurse her mother back to health after she had suffered from what we call a stoke. That knowledge she uses to determine that Freddie is murdered. She does that by opening the lid of the eye of the corpse. Later on in the book she is said to faint upon seeing blood and has trouble helping dress wounds. Ehhh... I think that opening a dead eye and gazing into a bloodfilled eyeball would make me faint. So I think this is a mistake by the writer. Easily remedied by asking the brother to check the colour of the eyeball for her.

Publishing date: 15th of January 2019

5 stars out of 5 for a novel in this genre.


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