The Mitford murders by Jessica Fellowes
Little, Brown, 2017. ISBN 9780751567168
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Mystery. Louisa Cannon has problems. It's 1919, and her oppressive uncle is proving to be dangerous. She really wants to escape London and is happy when she secures a position as a nurserymaid at Asthall Manor the home of the Mitford family. Then Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake, is murdered on a train and Louisa becomes entangled with a young railway policeman and Nancy Mitford as the trio try to solve the murder.
To my surprise I discovered that this was a real murder, which has never been solved. It was interesting to read a murder mystery knowing that the culprit had never been found and wondering how the author would present the case. Many people have put forward theories and Fellowes' solution is one that the reader can believe in.
Setting much of the action in the Mitford home will give readers who enjoyed The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford, a glimpse into the life of the upper classes in the early 20th century. At the same time the reader gains an in-depth knowledge of World War 1, the brave nurses who served during the war and the life of the poor in London.
The narrative is slow but the historical background and characters of the three main protagonists keep the reader's interest and ensure that further research is done into the real murder.