Book Review: A Proposal to Die For (A Lady Alkmene Callender Mystery) by Vivian Conroy

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Title - A Proposal to Die For
Author - Vivian Conroy
Series - A Lady Alkmene Mystery, Book #1
Publication Date - September 19th 2016
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 162

A murderous beginning...

With her father away in India, Lady Alkmene Callender finds being left to her own devices in London intolerably dull, until the glamorous Broadway star Evelyn Steinbeck arrives in town! Gossip abounds about the New York socialite, but when Ms Steinbeck's wealthy uncle, Silas Norwich, is found dead Lady Alkmene finds her interest piqued. Because this death sounds a lot to her like murder...

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lady Alkmene begins to look into Ms Steinbeck's past - only to be hampered by the arrival of journalist, Jake Dubois - who believes she is merely an amateur lady-detective meddling in matters she knows nothing about!

But Lady Alkmene refuses to be deterred from the case and together they dig deeper, only to discover that some secrets should never come to light...

The twenties have never been so dangerous.

When the covers of Vivan Conroy's Lady Alkmene Callendar series were revealed, I knew immediately that this series was something I desperately wanted to read. I absolutely adore a good mystery, something I can really get my teeth into, and once I'd read the blurb and got a taste for what Lady Alkmene was all about, I felt that this was a lady I wanted to meet, and soon.

In the first book in the Lady Alkmene Callender series, Conroy introduces readers to the main lady herself. Sharp, clever and fantastically inquisitive, Lady Alkmene's attitude and ability to snoop out juicy information was second to none. From the very first chapter, Conroy builds the mystery and intrigue surrounding Evelyn Steinbeck's character having recently arrived in London, and right away, readers are led on an exciting, humorous and fabulously witty voyage by the author, in order to track down the killer of Evelyn's wealthy uncle, Silas Norwich. After overhearing a rather intriguing snippet of conversation between Evelyn and an unnamed gentleman one evening, Lady Alkmene feels that this is a case she can't let go of. There's definitely something untoward going on here, and she'll be damned if she isn't going to find out more, whether frowned upon or not!

I wouldn't say that this was an edge-of-your-seat, gripping and intense mystery, but rather a cosy, sit-back-and-enjoy-the-ride mystery with so much to look forward to, not forgetting the fabulous array of enjoyable, entertaining characters who really made this story what it was. Lady Alkmene was brilliant. Her sharp wit, sense of humour and refusal to back down were all traits which I love in a person, and what made this book even more enjoyable was the obvious tension between Lady Alkmene and journalist Jake Dubois. Working alongside each other to crack the case, there were moments of hilarity as well as seriousness that balanced their interactions perfectly and gave this book a relaxed yet mysterious air, with both characters harbouring secrets from the past of their own, and not giving them up freely. I adored watching the strenuous relationship between these two gradually deepen as the plot progressed, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the rest of the characters involved, from the glamorous Evelyn Steinbeck to the Russian Countess, all of whom slotted seamlessly into the timescale of this book and added their own sort of vibrance to the plot.

All in all, A Proposal to Die For by Vivian Conroy was a sublime and sassy beginning to a brand-new, perfect-to-snuggle-up-with mystery series. I found it deliciously easy to escape into this book and found myself racing through it, eager for the pieces of this 1920's puzzle to fall into place. Becca's Books is awarding A Proposal to Die For by Vivian Conroy with four of my bookish cupcakes. I really can't wait for book two to arrive. I'm sure this is going to be a series I'm going to love.

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