Hasty Death: An Edwardian Murder Mystery (Edwardian Murder Mysteries)
M. C. Beaton
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Eager to join the working classes, Lady Rose Summer has abandoned the comforts of her parents' home to become self-supporting. But life as a working woman isn't quite what Rose had imagined---long hours as a typist and nights spent in a dreary women's hostel are not very empowering when you're poor, cold, and tired. Luckily for Rose, her drudgery comes to a merciful end when she learns of the untimely death of an acquaintance.
Freddy Pomfret, a silly and vacuous young man, was almost certainly up to no good before he was shot dead in his London flat. When Rose discovers incriminating evidence pointing to several members of her class, she returns to London high society in order to investigate properly. With the help of Captain Harry Cathcart and Superintendent Kerridge of Scotland Yard, Rose prepares to do the social rounds―uncovering a devious blackmail plot and an unexpected killer.
Set in Britain during the Edwardian world of parties, servants, and scandal, M. C. Beaton's Hasty Death is a delightful combination of murderous intrigue and high society.
wonder why.” “Well, she wouldn’t, would she?” remarked Daisy. A touch of colour had returned to her cheeks. “Why not?” “She doesn’t want to lose her job.” “Miss Jubbles should have known her job is secure.” Harry’s black eyes studied Rose’s face. “I am interested to know why you wanted to work for me. I was under the impression that you neither liked nor approved of me.” “Daisy and I were of help to you over that murder at Telby Castle last year. I thought it might be fun to work together
see what I can do and let you know,” said Harry. He put down the receiver and turned to Daisy. “It’s an asylum. What on earth possessed Lady Rose’s parents to send her there?” “They were furious because she turned down a proposal of marriage from Sir Richard Devizes. I think that maid, Humphrey, had something to do with it. Oh, blimey, Humphrey was visiting some doctor in Harley Street for her bleeding nerves.” In her distress, Daisy’s Cockney accent was coming back. “I’ll bet,” said Harry,
well. “Now that you know the situation . . .” she was beginning when Angela strode to the bookshelves and lifted out an ugly-looking pistol and levelled it at Rose. “Sit down,” she barked. Rose and Daisy sank back in their chairs. Daisy remembered throwing herself in front of Rose last year to protect her from a bullet. Somehow, she didn’t think she would ever have the courage to do that again. “I detest flittery little débutantes like you, Lady Rose, smug in your own beauty, poking your nose
tired of relating the edited version she had told Kerridge over and over again. Tristram seemed to be always at her side, saying loudly that he should have been there to protect her. Rose came to the conclusion that nothing could make her want to marry such a boring man as Tristram. She decided she had better get rid of him. Everyone seemed to assume that an engagement was in the offing. He was driving her in the park one day a few weeks later. Rose was in low spirits. Harry had not called or
entered the drawing-room and a footman closed the double doors behind her. The couple studied each other for a moment, each reflecting how fine the other one looked. Harry walked forward and took Rose by the hand. Then he sank down on one knee. “Lady Rose,” he said huskily, “would you do me the very great honour of giving me your hand in marriage?” “There’s no need to play-act,” said Rose. “Who knows when they’ll walk in on us.” “All right. Yes, I do.” Harry stood up and fished in his